Child safety advocates walk for Mason in Rockhampton
IT HAS almost been a year since emergency services workers sobbed at the sight of the body of a dead toddler - a case that ended up making headlines across the country.
Mason Jet Lee was 21-months-old when he was declared deceased by paramedics on June 11, 2016. Three people have been charged for failing to provide medical care.
His case, along with Tiahleigh Palmer, prompted reviews and overhauls of the Queensland child protection system.
But child safety advocates feel a lot more needs to be done to protect Queensland's vulnerable children.
Act for Mason, a group of five Australian mothers, brought their advocacy movement to Rockhampton on Sunday with a Walk for Mason to raise awareness about issues with the current system of keeping children safe.
About 50 people attended the walk, including child care workers, mothers, grandmothers, fathers, children and politicians.
"Mason was a child that was being monitored by our child safety system and our group is about getting public awareness so that we never have what happened to Mason Jet Lee happen again," Walk for Mason organiser, emergency services worker, foster carer and former Rockhampton student Nikkii Joyce said.
"Emergency services were the ones who found Mason last year. And the sobs of those police and those paramedics brought the neighbours out into the street."
She said the walk was about raising awareness of what Mason went through and the trauma he suffered when he could have been saved.
Ms Joyce referred to a local case where a six-month-old Yeppoon boy, who had come to the attention of child safety officers in January, died in hospital two-months later.
She said when he died, it was discovered that the child safety staff in Central Queensland had more cases than they were supposed to be managing per person.
"That puts kids at risk and that's not acceptable for us," Ms Joyce said
"This is about getting everybody, regardless of their jobs or the sides of government that they stand on, to come together and be the voice for these kids."
Act for Mason supports a petition to have Mason Jet Lee's Law passed.
The petition has 31,170 signatures and has been tabled in Queensland Parliament.
The law proposes that "No child who is referred by a doctor as having sustained injuries intentionally inflicted or sexual in nature will be sent home until a full investigation is completed. When a medical professional or hospital reports the likelihood of abuse that such a report will be treated in the same manner as a 000 phone call: A LIFE AT RISK, so that these children will be treated as a priority emergency."