In addition to the above consultation themes, child friendly surveys were also completed by primary age children from one school in the West Belconnen area.
In total, 161 children aged 5 to 12 years were surveyed.
The surveys varied slightly, children between 4 and 8 completed a predominantly qualitative survey with 4 main questions (in addition to demographic questions):
Who would you go to if you needed help? What makes you feel safe, loved and happy? Do you think people listen to you and your ideas? Then they were asked to draw their favourite things about living in their neighbourhood.
10 statements from strongly agree (two happy faces) to strongly disagree (two sad faces), the statements were: I like living in my neighbourhood, I live close to shops, It is easy for me to get around my neighbourhood, I know where I need to go if I need help, there are plenty of fun things to do in my neighbourhood, I like going to school, I feel safe in my neighbourhood, I have friends I can talk to in my neighbourhood, I feel like I can speak my mind and be listened to. They were also asked how they got to school, and to draw the best thing about living in their neighbourhood.
The surveys can be found at Attachment B.
Engagement with Children Reponses
Responses were received from 62 children between the ages of 5 to 8 (Kindergarten, Years One and Two), and 99 responses were received from children between the ages of 9 to 12 (Years three to Six).
Kindergarten, Year One and Year Two Responses
Who would you go to if you needed help?
The top response to this question was parents, with 37 responses, followed by teacher with 19 responses and a friend with 14 responses. Other responses included police/fireman, doctor and ambulance. Only two children did not respond to the question, and none of the children reported having no one to go to if they needed help.
What makes you feel safe, happy and loved?
Thirty-eight children responded that their mum or dad made them feel happy, safe and loved, followed by family at 17, and affection, including hugs and kisses with 16 responses. Grandparents, friends and their home were other popular responses.
Do you think people listen to your ideas?
Thirty-nine of the children surveyed responded yes, that they believed people listened to their ideas, while 18 responded no, and six responded sometimes.
When children were asked to draw what their favourite thing about their neighbourhood was they drew pictures of their house, family and playgrounds.
Some examples can be seen below.
Family and Home The Par
Year Three to Year Six Responses
Nearly all the children responded strongly agree or agree to” I like living in my neighbourhood”, “I live close to the shops”, “it is easy for me to get around my neighbourhood” and “I know where to go if I need help”.
However, about 20 per cent of children responded disagree or strongly disagree to “there are plenty of fun things to do in my neighbourhood”, “I feel safe in my neighbourhood” and “I have friends I can talk to in my neighbourhood”.
This suggests that while the majority of children feel there are fun things to do in their neighbourhood, and that they feel safe, there are a significant number who do not.
When asked to draw the best thing about living in their neighbourhood children drew or wrote about the parks, playgrounds, and their friends and family, as well as feeling safe.
Some children said that they would like to see more playgrounds, and sports and recreation activities. Some examples can be seen below:
“Friendly Neighbourhood and People” “I feel safe”
Left: “There are a couple of parks near my Mum and Dad’s house, I also liver near shops. I would like to see grass cut and plants being cared for.”
Below: “It is really easy to go places because the places are so close to where I live. I like my neighbourhood because there are so many bike tracks to ride my bike on.”
West Belconnen. They would like to see them being better maintained, in particular the grass being cut, and for there to be more of them.
Feeling Safe/Knowing where to go
Many children reported feeling safe in their community, and almost all knew where they would go if they needed help.
Children felt well supported by their parents, family, and teachers, as well as their friends. It is clear that they feel a sense of community through these relationships.
Links to Broader Engagement Themes
There are some clear links between the consultation with the broader community, and the consultation with primary school children, in particular, the focus on recreational activities for children, including improvements to current playgrounds, more challenging playgrounds, sports facilities and importantly the maintenance of all these areas. In addition to this, it is clear that there needs to be a focus on continuing to build a sense of community, as it is apparent that this has a significant impact on primary aged children.