ZOOS Victoria has officially endorsed Bravehearts’ 21st annual White Balloon Day campaign through its ‘When Balloons Fly’ initiative for offering environmentally friendly alternatives to using balloons outdoors as part of this year’s campaign.
Adopted by Bravehearts in 1996, the humble white balloon has come to symbolise hope for survivors of child sexual assault, encouraging them to break the silence that so often surrounds this crime.
This year’s White Balloon Day campaign will feature innovative and fun activities for all ages including the Bravehearts National Chalk Art Project and a virtual balloon race – activities designed specifically to move Bravehearts and their supporters towards eco-friendly initiatives.
“White balloons are a symbol of hope to many, however, we recognise the damage that balloons can do to our environment, which is why this year’s campaign has been designed to minimise that potential damage,” says Hetty Johnston AM, Founder and Executive Chair of Bravehearts.
“White Balloon Day is very close to the heart of communities right around the country and is the longest-running child protection campaign dedicated to the prevention of child sexual assault.
“Bravehearts has come so far over the last two decades and has been instrumental in breaking the silence on this crime, but we have a long way to go, and on September 8 our quest continues as we strive to create a safer Australia for our children.”
Bravehearts will ‘release’ virtual balloons from Parliament House in Canberra on White Balloon Day on September 8. These computer-generated cyber balloons will ‘race’ against each other with the balloon movements being generated based on an algorithm using real-time weather conditions received from around 10,000 meteorological stations across the globe.
Zoos Victoria CEO Dr. Jenny Gray said she is pleased that Bravehearts are taking proactive steps towards phasing out balloon use outdoors from their annual campaign.
“Research shows that balloons are amongst the top three most harmful pollutants threatening marine wildlife, which is why it is vital for individuals as well as community organisations to use alternatives such as bubbles at outdoor events” Dr. Gray said.
“ZoosVictoria is proud to support Bravehearts and its 21st annual White Balloon Day and its wonderful cyber balloon initiative.”
Money raised throughout the White Balloon Day campaign goes towards Bravehearts’ education program ‘Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show’, which has educated more than 720,000 Aussie kids about personal safety.
For further information about Zoos Victoria’s ‘When balloons fly, seabirds die’ campaign, in partnership with Phillip Island Nature Parks visit zoo.org.au/balloons.