White Balloon Day 2011

September 7th is White Balloon Day

This year’s event marks the 15th annual White Balloon Day, a national awareness and fundraising campaign staged on September 7 during Child Protection Week (September 4 –11). Since 1997 when White Balloon Day resulted in an unprecedented 514 per cent increase in disclosures of sexual assault to Queensland Police, the humble white balloon has become synonymous with child protection and this special day has evolved into Bravehearts’ signature national event. White Balloon Day is not only a day of recognition, awareness and support for the victims of child sexual assault but is also the principle fundraising initiative which enables Bravehearts to educate, empower and protect all Aussie kids.

Check out the Events page to go to a pre-organised event, or create your own event and get other people involved.

Get Involved – Do the White Thing!

Being involved in White Balloon day is simple, fun and best of all, you are guaranteed to make a difference in the lives of Aussie kids.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can join us.

Step 1: Think white

  • Check out our Ideas page to help you decide how you want to get involved in White Balloon Day.
  • Get your school involved.
  • Get you church involved
  • Become an Everyday Hero

Step 2: Register online

Once you register your event, you will be sent our exclusive White Balloon Day Kit, which includes official White Balloon Day posters and brochures, a letter of consent to fundraise, promotional ideas and more.  Registering your event also helps us create an accurate events calendar and allows us to promote your event on our website and encourage our supporters to support you.

Step 3: Take flight!

Let the fundraising begin…

Start to plan your event a few weeks in advance and be sure to invite your friends, family and co-workers to get involved.  Your White Balloon Day Kit will contain more info on how to write a press release and get the media involved in your event.  The more support and awareness created, the more funds we can raise to educate, empower and protect Aussie kids.


2010 year in review lists – I made a few…

Sarah MonahanThe year in review.

Even though “the scandal” broke in March and there has been a media blackout since, I still managed to make quite a few lists at the end of the year.

Here’s a few of them:

Where the story broke; We made number 4 on the most read articles on the Woman’s Day site.

Since we were the highest rating story of the year, I kinda expected the ACA one… Cool video of the top moments of theyear. LOVE the dogman!

Channel nine also had a video with the Top TV moments of 2010.

We made Scandal of the Year in the Sydney Confidential Awards.

Even the New Zealanders put me on their list!

Who Magazine put me in their “Newsmakers” section for the December 2010 issue, Best and Worst of 2010.

Even Google trends shows the Hey Dad Scandal made the number 5 spot.

Of course, while nobody wants to make end of year lists for Scandals,  it was great to see the nation talking about Child Abuse, and I was very honored to become an Ambassador for Bravehearts.

Of course, someone had to include us on a not so nice list… The Wankley’s.  Honestly, I think Tracey Grimshaw is a lovely woman. The entire staff at Channel 9 was very professional, and I’m very grateful that they handled the case the way they did. Because so many people came forward to ACA, who were put in touch with the police, the police have been conducting their investigation for many, many months now. It meant it wasn’t just a he said/she said and the detectives didn’t have to go track down hundreds of people from 20 years ago. They had a slew of people coming to them instead. It amuses me the way the people who say I shouldn’t have spoken to ACA because it’s just about dodgy builders and supermarket prices can’t be pleased when ACA actually does hard hitting stories. Oh well. Boo hoo for them.

Now, I just sit back and wait while the police finish their investigation…. Hopefully, next time I make a list, it will be for something happy.


Stand up for victims of child abuse

National Child Protection Week

A study has just been released in Australia that says that just one third of Australians would call police if a child told them they were being sexually abused.

The results, released on Wednesday, showed that 48 per cent of people would not take action in clear-cut examples of child abuse for fear they might be wrong, while 42 per cent said they did not think it was their business. But most of the 22,000 people surveyed by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) believed child abuse was a serious issue.

Since March, when I went public with my own history of abuse, there has been literally thousand of blogs, forums and tweets discussing my case. So many people couldn’t believe that it had been allowed to happen. People are outraged. People all claim that they would have done something. However, if you were really put in that spot, would you have? This study shows, maybe not.

People have judged me for going public. A lot of people are upset by the “Trial by Media”. However, I wouldn’t have done it any differently if I had to do it over again. By going public, it has forced people to talk about it. It’s forced people to think about what they would do if confronted by the same situation. It made witnesses come forward and talk to the police about it. People who otherwise may have been too scared to speak, in case they heard the infamous, “You’ll never work in this country again” line. Unfortunately, TV in Australia is a tiny community. People are terrified of speaking out of school. It’s very easy to be blacklisted and never work again. I have no doubt that if this was not public that many people would still be denying knowledge of the situation because they’d be scared to talk about it.

I really hope that by speaking out, that parents are thinking very hard about whether to put their kids into acting or modeling. I hope that if they are in the biz, they’re watching their kids like hawks.

I hope that people will get the courage to speak up if they see abuse. If a kid tells you something is not right, go investigate it for yourself if you don’t believe them. Then go to the police. Then get your kid some help. Call Bravehearts or any other child advocacy group.

Don’t let happen to your kids what happened to me. Don’t be the 2/3rds of Australia that would just look the other way. Even if it’s not your kid. It’s your job to protect them. They came to you, they asked for your help. Do the right thing and get them the help they need.

Go to the Bravehearts website to learn more about Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Assault.


White Balloon Day

White Balloon Day Events

It’s only a few days now till White Balloon Day. Do you have anything planned?

I really wanted to be able to come home to attend some events, but the police asked me to hold off till next year, since they’re still investigating. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and have some fun while raising money for a fantastic cause.

There are events all over Australia. Check out the Event Page on the White Balloon Day website to find something near you. If you can’t find one, you can organize your own event.

There are other ways to Get Involved. Buy a White Balloon, wear white, or just listen to a child who has something to tell you…

There are also Highway Thunder events, and if you’re into something a little more glitzy, there’s a big event for Bravehearts on the 10th, which I really wish I could make it to; The Shine the Light Gala at the Sydney Opera House Marquee.

So go ahead, get involved and make Australia the safest place to raise a child.