Year of publication / 2023

Exploring what the ACMS means for the Child & Family Sector in NSW


In July 2023, the NSW Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) brought together over 90 policymakers, practitioners and academics to hear about the findings of the landmark Australian Child Maltreatment Study from Professor Ben Mathews.

The event was formally opened by the Minister for Families and Communities, The Hon. Kate Washington MP, who acknowledged both the urgent need to use this research to achieve the type of cultural shift required for the community to understand the social and emotional cost of child maltreatment and the need for policymakers and practitioners to keep child wellbeing at the centre of decision making.

Professor Mathews outlined the key findings of the Study in a detailed presentation. This was followed by a panel discussion in which sector experts each shared their responses to the ACMS and reflected on things we can do in practice to impact the prevalence of child maltreatment in our society.

The Expert Panel comprised:

  • Elaine Thomson, Acting Executive Director, NSW Office of the Senior Practitioner, Department of Communities and Justice
  • Dr Paul Gray, Associate Professor, University of Technology Sydney, Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research
  • Annette Michaux, Director, The Parenting Research Centre / Raising Children Network
  • Anne Hollonds, National Children’s Commissioner

In closing the event, ACWA CEO, Maree Walk thanked Professor Mathews and the whole research team for this incredible contribution, saying, “We really want them to know that we understand what a great gift they have given our whole sector”.