The Year in Review

It has been an amazing year for Safe4kids! It started with training staff and working with the children in 11 schools in the Northam District. Then I headed out to Indulkana in the NPY Lands in South Australia for a week, delivering the Safe4Kids program and working with the whole community. This was a fantastic experience and the communities were very appreciative of this protective education.

A very proud moment for us this year was being invited to speak at the 10th Annual Hawaii Conference: Preventing, Assessing & Treating Child, Adolescent & Adult Trauma. Roger and I both presented, it was Roger’s first speaking engagement for Safe4Kids and to be doing it on a World stage, I was extremely proud on him. We spoke about the work I have done in the Northern Territory and the success we are having in remote Aboriginal communities. We received great feedback about our presentation and we spoke with representatives from organisations that face similar challenges with child abuse prevention education with the First Nations People in Hawaii, Canada and the USA.

From Hawaii we went on to New York City and were fortunate enough to meet Jill Starishevsky, a New York District Attorney and author of the book “My Body Belongs to Me”. Jill is also a driving force behind “The Innocence Revolution"- A Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse. We were in New York City for the launch and events were run all over the world to bring to peoples’ attention the prevalence of child sexual abuse. The New York City event was held in a park where we could give out information to parents and there were also actives for children.

Whilst in New York City, Roger and I also met with Andrew Willis, Chief Executive Officer of the Stop Abuse Campaign. The Campaign’s objective is to stop all forms of abuse in 25 years. They are a group of individuals, all drawn from the fields of business management, communications, education, mental health, criminal justice, medical, advocacy, social and community service, all sharing the common goal of stopping abuse. Andrew is based in Harlem, so it was great to wander around the streets of Harlem and we even had some young people show us the real Harlem Shake!

We also met with Alana Kapell from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) which is a United Nations program. Alana is working on writing a program which will enable children to report directly to the UN if their Rights are not being upheld. Alana had heard of the work I’m doing in remote Aboriginal communities and wanted to learn more about it.

After New York City, Roger and I went to the 18th Annual New York State Child Abuse Conference in Albany, New York State. This conference presented some great opportunities to network with other educators and learn more about what other organisation around the world are doing in the field of protective education. There were two presentations that really stood out at this conference. One was from Cordelia Anderson who spoke about the challenges of raising sexually healthy children in a sexually toxic environment that has become increasingly pornified. The other was a plenary delivered by Johnnetta McSwain, CEO & Founder, Breaking the Cycle, Beating the Odds. Johnnetta delivered one of the most powerful speeches I have ever seen. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. Johnnetta showed her Emmy award winning documentary, The Road Beyond Abuse, and spoke about her life on the streets of Birmingham, Alabama and how she overcame adversity and is now completing her Ph.D. I was very fortunate to spend some time with Johnnetta during the conference and this is a link to a video message she did for me

On returning to Australia I headed out to Hermannsburg the very next day for a week. In the past, it had been difficult to engaged with the women and get them to a workshop, so I asked one of the teacher assistants, what would be the best way to get a group together? She suggested that we have a softball game on ANZAC Day and at the end, I could speak with the women. This worked beautifully, with 30 women attending. The women insisted that I play, but unfortunately I tore my Achilles tendon when running between bases. The pain was so intense!! I had 30 women all in one spot, all needing to know how to help keep their children safe, so I went ahead with the workshop, sitting in a chair with my foot packed in ice. This accident slowed me down for three months, which was very hard, especially as I couldn’t fly, as I developed a blood clot on my lung after the operation.





This year I was also awarded a Rowan Nicks Russell Drysdale Fellowship. The Fellowship is designed to support individuals wanting to make a contribution in the area of Australian Indigenous Health and Welfare and is provided through The University of Sydney Medical School. Due to my torn Achilles, Roger had to fly to Sydney to accept the award on my behalf from Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO the Governor of New South Wales. The award ceremony was held at Government House. Roger did such an amazing job they have asked me to be the Keynote Speaker at the awards night in 2014. I recently received a letter from the Fellowship advising I have also been awarded a Fellowship in 2014. I’m one of only two people in Australia to be awarded a Rowan Nicks Russell Drysdale Fellowship twice. This award will enable me to travel to 10 communities in the Fitzroy Valley Region in the Kimberly to deliver our Safe4kids program in 2014.

Another amazing person in my life, Libby Andrew, also had to step in and present on my behalf at the SNAICC National Conference 'For Our Children: Living and Learning Together' in Cairns. By all reports Libby did an amazing job and I will always be grateful for her support.

After being asked to be a keynote at the No 2 Bullying Conference on the Gold Coast, I was very disappointed not to be able to attend that conference either, due to still not being able to fly. I did however get to speak at the Buunji National Aboriginal Education Conference in Sydney and the 13th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Melbourne.

A key outcome for 2013 was being invited to deliver two workshops for Protective Behaviours Tasmania. My aim is to help Protective Behaviours Tasmania develop a sustainable abuse prevention education program in the Apple Isle, and I’m pleased to say it has got off to a great start. Nearly 80 people attended workshops in Hobart and Launceston, with attendees very enthusiastic to see the program continue. Protective Behaviours Tasmania has had requests for more training and is looking very strong.

Having taught abuse prevention education this year to 2,837 children across Australia, trained 560 teachers and 937 parents and other community members, 2013 has been a successful year! We are both look forward to 2014, with some new innovative programs and resources being developed to help teach protective education programs to children.

From Roger and I, we wish you and your family a safe and wonderful Christmas full of love and joy. We are looking forward to working together in 2014 to help make the world a safer place for children.

We are very pleased to announce that our books are now available worldwide through Amazon.  Australian customers can still purchase them through our website. Click on the picture to head to Amazon to order.


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Safe4Kids Training Programs

Holly-ann provides specialised training for teachers, childcare educators and parents to provide them with skills and practical ideas for teaching Protective Education to children. You can begin to implement this program in your school, childcare centre or at home with a basic training workshop. In two hours you will gain enough knowledge to start teaching your children and begin modeling the language, concepts and strategies of child abuse prevention education.

Basic Training is a two hour professional development for teachers and childcare educators, presented by Holly-ann Martin as an introduction to her ten-week lesson plan.

Classroom Mentoring is also available for more detailed and practical training for teachers.

Parent Workshop is a two hour session packed with fantastic ideas for parents to begin practicing pro-active behaviour and language with their children at home.

Holly-ann is also available for customised in-house training and consulting by request.

If you would like more information about training, or would like to engage Holly-ann as a speaker at your event, please contact her directly at