Kidsafe SA announced the winners of the 2015 Helen Noblet Award during an award ceremony at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital on Friday the 11th of December.
The Helen Noblet Award was established to recognise the significant legacy of Kidsafe SA’s former long-term CEO, Helen Noblet, who passed away in early 2014. The state based Award recognises individuals, groups or whole organisations that have made a significant contribution to child injury prevention in South Australia through; advocacy, programs, research, or the influence of policy.
There were two groups awarded this year, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Paediatric Emergency Department and the South Australian Coroner’s Office.
2015 winner – Staff of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Paediatric Emergency Department
The Women’s and Children’s Hospital Paediatric Emergency Department (PED) sees approximately 45,000 children per annum with at least 30% of presentations being directly trauma/injury related. This represents a large proportion of children presenting through the PED on a daily basis with preventable injuries. Staff of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Paediatric Emergency Department have witnessed firsthand the devastating impact child deaths and serious injuries can have, not only on the individual, the family members, friends and community, but also on their peers and colleagues. It is this unnecessary and preventable suffering that drives PED staff to be proactive and committed to child injury prevention activities and advocacy. PED staff believe that injury prevention is a vital component of the work they do and an integral part of the service they should offer – prevention rather than cure. Kidsafe SA and the WCH PED have worked collaboratively over many years to raise awareness of childhood injuries. Lead previously by Dr Jeremy Raftos and now by Dr Malcom Higgins and Nursing Director, Monique Anninos, we have worked together on joint advocacy initiatives and campaigns including preventing driveway runovers, button batteries, helmets, playground related injuries, furniture tipovers, preventing burns and scalds to name a few. This has always been a collaborative and supportive working relationship to reduce the incidence of and severity of injuries.
2015 winner – The South Australian Coroner’s Office
Staff of the South Australian Coroner’s Office are people with skills in legal matters, investigation and counselling. They receive reports of each death, conduct investigations and prepare all information for consideration by the State Coroner and if an inquest is held, for the Coroner’s Court. The Coroner's Office provides a broad range of services to the community by recognising the need to assist bereaved families to understand the coronial investigation process. The cornerstone of coronial inquiry is to provide a thorough and impartial service to the community when investigating the circumstances in which people die. An inquest is a court hearing in which the Court gathers information to assist in determining the cause and circumstances of death and if appropriate, to make recommendations that may prevent similar deaths occurring in the future. In making a decision, the Court can also make recommendations to any relevant authorities that may result in changes to laws or practices in order to prevent similar deaths in the future. There is no doubt that the state coroner’s office, through their investigations and subsequent recommendations, has had meaningful implications for the safety of children in South Australia. The recommendations provided in 2007/08 regarding the safe sleeping of infants have had a significant impact in reducing infant deaths associated with unsafe sleeping environments. Since this time, the rate of infants who died after they were placed to sleep has declined by 6% on average per year. This proves that the coronial process can have tangible implications for the safety of children and has enabled Kidsafe SA to take on a more proactive role in child injury prevention.
This year’s Award was presented by The Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le and his wife, Mrs Lan Le. The Helen Noblet Award is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those who work towards the goal of making a world a safer world for kids.