RAINBOW STORYTIME – NEWCASTLE (CITY) LIBRARY
FOR THE URGENT AND IMMEDIATE ATTENTION OF:
Joy Cummings – Lord Mayor of Newcastle;
Julie Baird – Director of Museum Archive Libraries & Learning City of Newcastle; and
The Hon. Tim Crakanthorp (MP) – State Member for Newcastle
I am writing today to introduce myself, my name is Suzanne Priddle – I am the Director of the Youth Advocate.
In recent days the Youth Advocate has received communication from concerned members of the Newcastle community with reference to educational program events that have been advertised and scheduled to take place on Council premises, in the Newcastle (City) Library, titled:- RAINBOW STORYTIME – NEWCASTLE (CITY) LIBRARY.
I am of the understanding from your (City) Library website that at least one of these educational program events has already taken place, and there are further events scheduled to take place on the following dates:
Saturday – 22 April 2023 – Saturday – 20
May 2023 – Saturday – 23 June 2023
The event advertised is described as:-
“A special glitter filled Storytime extravaganza with Newcastle’s own Timberlina. Families of all ages are invited to join us for an all singing, dancing and storytelling celebration of our city’s commitment to diversity and inclusion … Suitable for children of all ages”
I am of the understanding that attendance of this event is free – although numbers are limited to capacity for each session where the advertisement states:-
Please book spaces for parent/carer and children as we have a maximum capacity for each session (minimum 2 tickets per booking e.g. an adult and any children attending).”
The YouTube Promo Video produced for Timberlina Productions is included herein: https://youtu.be/e_sq_fykePM
You will note this video provides information in relation to ‘adult entertainment’ performed in an ‘adult environment’. The initial 5 seconds of this promo video shows a person in a leg hold – exposing the genitalia of this person – and the first three words that are spoken in the promo video by this person are “HOLLY – SHIT – FUCK” …
There is no information provided in the content of this YouTube promotional video that Timberlina provides children’s educational programs as part of their services.
Furthermore, the website for Timberlina Productions does not even list the scheduled NCC-Library “Rainbow Storytime” educational event as an upcoming event.
The Youth Advocate holds grave concerns as to the Mayor, the Librarian and the Local Member of Newcastle City, to be interpreting the promotional material of Timberlina Productions as a “celebration of our city’s commitment to diversity and inclusion”.
The Youth Advocate holds grave concerns as to the reputation of the NCC where they would actively contractually engage an ‘Adult Artist’ to perform children’s educational programs on Council premises – not especially with a company who does not identify as a provider of ‘children’s entertainment’.
The Youth Advocate holds grave concerns as to the possibility of integrated exposure of Timberlina Productions self-promoted ‘artistic license and capabilities’ being deliverable to the children of Newcastle City through educational funded programs such as ‘Storytime’ on Council premises within the wall of the Newcastle (City) Library.
The Youth Advocate’s role is such that the safety and the welfare of all children is held paramount within all environments, and that the voices of children be represented in those environments, at all times.
I am of the understanding from the advertising that these events are “suitable for children of all ages”, therefore I formally request the Council provide the Youth Advocate with the following information on or before close of business on Friday, 21 April 2023:-
- What was the process of Council for funding appropriation for the scheduled events of Timberlina
Productions to take place in the Newcastle City Library?
- What was the process of Council to engage Timberlina Productions to undertake the educational program ‘Storytime’ on Council premises?
- What provisions have been made by Council to preclude young persons (8-18 years) who may wish to attend the event without adult supervision?
- What provisions have been made by Council to include young persons (8-18 years) who may wish to attend the event without adult supervision?
- What provisions have been made by Council to ensure that children (0-8 years) are provided with the
appropriate psychological support directly prior to and/or following the event?
- What provisions have been made by Council to ensure that children (8-18 years) are provided with the appropriate psychological support directly prior to and/or following the event?
- What is the educational material being provided by Council Library to be delivered at this event?
- What is the relevance of this educational material to the method of delivery?
- How is the relevance of this educational method of delivery
identified in the Council funding appropriation schedule?
- What consultation and brief was provided to the public in regards to the appropriation of Council funds for this event?
- What consultation and brief was provided to the performer in regards to the delivery of this educational program within Council guidelines to ensure the children attending this event are not placed at Severe Risk in line with the following NSW legislation:-
Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection Act) 1988;
Crimes Act 1900;
Local Government Act 1993;
Advocate for Children and Young People’s Act 2014;
Anti-discrimination Act 1977; and
United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child
The assistance of the Mayor, the Head Librarian and the Member for Newcastle is greatly appreciated in regards to these matters.
the Youth Advocate
Family & Domestic Violence Support Network