All Posts in Australia

October 30, 2020 - No Comments!

No Joke! This is Australia!

“Australians are very friendly and easygoing people. In fact, Australians are renowned for their laid-back nature and unique sense of humour. Another thing Australians are known for is their love of sport, recreation and the great outdoors.” (tafeqld.edu.au).

What do an Australian police officer, security guard, bicycle repair man, student, transport worker, reservist, videographer, restaurant worker, IT consultant, forklift driver, retail services worker, student, school secretary, health and safety worker, and a computer programmer all have in common? 

These were the occupations of just some of the 44 men aged between 19 to 57 found across every state and territory (except the Northern Territory) who allegedly all shared child sexual abuse material using a 'a cloud storage' company.

It's said that Operation Molto began late last year when the AFP were tipped off by a US intelligence agency about an international paedophile ring.  

So far 16 children have been removed from harm but The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) has received 21,000 reports of child exploitation in the last financial year. 

You can read this and be appalled, or you can read this and be spurred into action. 

The choice is up to you. Click here to download a toolkit or email us to see what you can do. 

 

 

 

October 2, 2020 - No Comments!

I Can Do That!

For all of us who work at ZOE, in any one of the 5 countries, we often cross paths with people who say, “I want to do something … what can I do?” Less often though, we see people who passionately embrace ZOE’s mission, combine it with their interests, skills or hobbies and then actually use it to influence their sphere. But when we do - it’s powerful!

Recently in Australia such a person came forth and reminded us again how everyone has something that they can do to bring awareness to the issue of ending child trafficking. 

Meet Sharon! An ordinary, yet amazing, woman who is using her heart -- along with her hobbies and circle of influence -- to make a difference by helping children.

Not long ago, I asked Sharon a few questions and here’s what she had to say!

1) How did you hear about ZOE?

I first heard about ZOE when Brett became the ZOE Development and Advocacy Coordinator in Australia.  About 9 years ago, I became aware of child trafficking through another organisation that was setting up in Mozambique. (My husband and I were living there at the time.)  But after a few years this connection waned.  I first met Brett when he was senior pastor at a local church my family started attending maybe 20 odd years ago and so his getting this position led me to check out your website

I noticed you were involved in education and had developed a curriculum for year 10 students and are in the process of a curriculum for year 9 students and possibly primary school students.  This sparked my interest even more as most of my time has been spent in ministry with children.   I started reading Facebook posts on ZOE’s work, then Brett invited me to be part of the ZOE prayer team. I’m excited to be part of an organisation that brings healing, transformation, hope and the good news of Jesus to vulnerable children. 

2) What 'sparked' your ideas for both the dinner and the art work you're doing?

When I saw the delicious food being prepared from ZOE’s recipe book, I asked Brett if I could purchase one.  He said, “How about I send you some books and you can maybe cook something from it and have a few friends over to talk about ZOE and its work.”  My immediate response was, “I can do that!”  So then began my planning for my ‘awareness afternoon tea.’  I’m now planning to host a second one in the near future.

I’ve enjoyed sewing quilts and other projects for about 20 years and along the way, it’s been a pleasure to create things for other people and organisations.  When I saw the ZOE colouring book, I thought this may be a way for me to do some creative work for ZOE.  When Brett said the drawings were done by some of the ZOE children and staff, well that was a bonus! 

3) Why are you passionate about ending child trafficking?

I’m passionate about ending child trafficking because it saddens me greatly that children, through no fault of their own, are subjected to terrible abuse and miss out on so many opportunities including to know unconditional love and the right to enjoy their childhood.  NO child should have to endure what so many are ‘living’ through and that also includes working in factories/or on farms for little pay and not receiving a formal education.  I have four children and one grandchild and am so blessed they have had and are still having many wonderful opportunities to grow, learn and flourish! I’m excited to be part of an organisation that brings healing, transformation and hope to vulnerable children. 

I feel that prevention and education is the key for big changes in so many areas. If I can play a small part in making people aware of what is happening in our world, in our country, then it can be the start of a journey which others can take and pass on.  Love the ripple effect!  

*If you have a passion to end child trafficking and ideas on how you could use your interests, skills or hobbies to influence your sphere, then please reach out and discuss your plans with us.

July 29, 2020 - No Comments!

Education: Bringing Powerful Change

ZOE Australia believes that ‘Education’ is one of the key ways in which students of all ages can gain understanding and knowledge about the issues surrounding modern slavery and, in particular, child trafficking. 

It is through a combination of informal learning at home, and formal learning during school time, that children develop personal and social skills. Even from a very young age, children interact with others - beginning to learn and explore issues such as fairness, respect and problem solving skills. 

As children grow and are exposed to more complex human rights issues, education gives them opportunities to learn, challenge, problem-solve, influence and contribute to bringing about change, in powerful ways. 

ZOE helps Australians to learn about the local and global issues involving the exploitation of children by building understanding, empathy, and a sense of shared responsibility. 

Through education, ZOE seeks to equip and empower whole communities (parents, staff, teachers and students) to prevent child trafficking from occurring, by offering relevant curriculum resources and informative tool kits.  We use our experience gained from working with child trafficking survivors along with current research and methodologies to work alongside leaders, educators and influencers to learn, assist, collaborate, develop and produce resources that will change attitudes and behaviours.  

We have developed several (free) secondary school curriculums for teachers to use. We currently have a team of Australian teachers collaborating to write a primary school curriculum to cover important issues relating to slavery. 

We see informal education (awareness) as an important way to engage with larger communities, or specific industries, by sharing information and resources that will equip them to be a voice for change, and to know how to effectively contribute to prevent (and end) child trafficking in their sphere. That’s why we developed our toolkits.

We believe that our toolkits can help bring awareness in industries such as: health, tourism, travel, sports, farming, clothing/fashion, hospitality and can be used by social-action groups. 

For faith-based communities like churches, youth and children’s ministry, we have prayer-based guides which focus on God’s heart for the fatherless. Over time, we believe like-minded people will respond to the stories, information and the ‘heart’ behind ZOE’s work. 

By using ZOE’s curriculums, toolkits and guides, individuals, groups and whole communities will better understand and change their actions towards others - whether directly or indirectly - igniting a movement that will bring about powerful change.