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1995 Award winners

National winner

The 1995 winner of the Australian Violence Prevention Awards was the Hampstead (South Australia) Bushband Project.

The Bushband began, according to its organisers, as a response to violence within the Hampstead Primary School and also violence directed at the school from those outside it. That was in June 1994.

The plan was to set up a working musical group within the school; a backing group of adult musicians called the Bullants Band was formed from local unemployed Community Service Scheme (Department of Correctional Services) clients.

The scheme claimed the attention of school students, the Community Service program, and then spread out into the community by taking on causes to support, for example, one of the 1994 highlights was a week-long fund-raising tour to support the National Drought Appeal and the drought-affected Warramboo community on Lake Eyre Peninsula.

The Bushband itself is a group of 60-80 students, parents/caregivers/community volunteers who sing, accompanied by a band of adult musicians from the Community Service Scheme.

Apart from raising the self-esteem of the participants, the band develops positive relationships within the school and between the school and community. Organisers say the project also aims especially to involve disadvantaged students and families in its work.

It also provides Community Service clients with the opportunity to undertake worthwhile community service within the local school context. All have reported a positive change in their lives and many who have completed their community service hours have continued to be associated with the project.

In its application, the school said that, before the Bushband project, the school had been harassed and property destroyed by teenagers in the area. Since the establishment of the Bushband, this group had been made to feel welcome at the school, and some had become protective of school personnel and property.

An evaluation shows that, in the 12 months since the band was formed, there has been a significant drop in student violence, violence by other community members towards school personnel and fewer incidents of vandalism, graffiti, break-ins and police call-outs.

A questionnaire to a random sample selected from members of the "extended" school community reported development such as:

  • improved school morale, greater unity, cohesion;
  • more positive and optimistic tone;
  • improved public perception of the school;
  • good local publicity, state wide media coverage of the project's achievements.
  • As overall winner, the project received$20 000 and a certificate.

Other winners in the 1995 Violence Prevention Awards were:

Outstanding achievement

Awarded: $5000 and a certificate:

School Volunteer Program, Rotary International and Council on the Ageing (WA), Western Australia

The School Volunteer Program is an initiative where senior members of the community are helping children in high schools through 'grandparent' friendships. The program provides students who are under-achievers with alternative means to combat their frustrations and makes them more able to cope with the stresses at school through the establishment of one-to-one relationships. It also helps break down the barriers that have developed between generations. All schools involved have reported changes in attitude, a reduction in anger and frustration, and an improvement in the self-esteem of students with a volunteer friend.

Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation Committee, Western Australia

This agency reduces the incidence of juvenile crime by providing counselling and programs for the social development of 12 to 18-year-old offending youth or youth at risk. It provides emotional support and promotes desirable skills and values, and has had many successful training programs.

The Venue, Springvale, Victoria

The Venue offers a range of leisure related activities for the area's young people, including regular live music nights organised by the Muso Network, school holiday activities, training workshops, and operates as a band rehearsal studio. All activities are overseen by a young management group in conjunction with the Youth Programs Officer. Many of the young people involved are now working or have developed greater personal skills as a direct result of 'The Venue's activities. A reduction of crime has also been noted in the immediate area.

Intervention Order Support Project, Women's Legal Resource Group Inc (Vic), Victoria

This project encourages and facilitates strategies and initiatives within Victoria which will assist and support applicants, particularly women and children who are victims of domestic violence, to secure and maintain Intervention Orders.

Rural Domestic Violence Project, Burnie City Council, Tasmania

This project recognises the skills and potential of young people living in disadvantaged circumstances. It sought to empower participants by producing performances which encouraged the community to reflect on issues within society (in this case domestic violence) and encouraging inter-agency cooperation. By the end of the project, participants had gained appropriate knowledge to embark on further employment, education and training.

Community Justice Groups - Remote Aboriginal and Islander Communities, Northern Region Community Corrections, Queensland

The Community Justice Groups are operating in the northern Queensland communities of Palm Island, Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw. They are a mechanism which enables Aboriginal people to administer their own law and cultural values in relation to issues of law and order within their own communities. Through the individual and collective authority of the group, the Justice Groups are better able to regulate anti-social behaviour by the culturally and community appropriate use of traditional practices for sanction, discipline and conflict mediation.

Enough's Enough, Gender Equity Unit, Department of Education, Queensland

The project reviews the major issues that emerged from interviews conducted with groups of girls and boys in seven Queensland primary schools, as well as from classroom observations, discussions with teachers and parents, and data collected in the schools. It successfully makes a case for the urgency of addressing issues of gender and violence through the curriculum by making explicit the nature of gendered violence in school communities.

Atnynypa Wiru Minyma Uwankaraku: Good Protection for all Women, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

This is a domestic violence pilot project which aims to develop appropriate strategies and service models to assist Aboriginal women living in remote communities across the Northern Territory, South Australian and Western Australian borders.

Juvenile Alternative School Program Eastlakes Region, Gateshead High School, New South Wales

This is an alternative school program for students who are chronically truant and at risk of becoming street kids. In nearly all cases their truancy has been compounded by a history of suspension from mainstream schools, mainly for verbal and physical violence. The program concentrates on developing basic literacy, numeracy and self esteem. There has been a dramatic change in the attendance rate for students involved and many have returned to mainstream education programs at school or TAFE.

Safe Women - Liverpool Project, Ashcroft, New South Wales

The Safe Women Project was formed in 1993 with a concern to reduce women's fear of harassment and attack in the streets and public places, and to increase women's safety when out and about in the Liverpool area. The Project's activities have included initiation of a community safety audit in the area identified as most problematic from a phone-in and presentation of the results to Council.

Commended projects

Awarded: $1000 and a certificate

Elder Abuse Prevention Program, Western Australia

This program aims to deal with the major aspects of elder abuse. The major components of the program are: preventive strategies to reduce risk of abuse; strategies to identify seniors who are at risk of abuse ; provision of an intervention and case management program; carer support; intervention program for abusers; professional education for service providers; raising community awareness.

Kidlink Early Intervention Program, Western Australia

The aim of Kidlink is to help break the isolation of socially and locationally disadvantaged families. It provides a preventative program to individual families in their own home. It has been proven that the families involved gain in self-esteem and increase their confidence to link more into the community.

New Year's Eve Operation - Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria

Strategies were implemented to reduce violence and anti-social behaviour of young people attending Cowes, Phillip Island on New Year's Eve. The program is supported by police and the community. Local government introduced local laws prohibiting the consumption of alcohol and camping in public places. Entertainment was provided on the foreshore and main street of town. The police and electronic and print media were used to provide information about the local laws.

City of Greater Dandenong Safer Communities Project, Victoria

This project was set up to build partnerships between police, council and the community in order to make the city a safer place. It works with the community to identify safety issues and devise strategies to address these issues. Four broad areas have been addressed within the project: safety for women; urban design and its effect on safety; media and its effect on perceptions of safety; and public education.

Countering Aggressions and Violence through Education, Victoria

This is a curriculum approach to preventing violence in primary and secondary schools. The teaching strategies are designed to engender negotiation and communication skills, enhance self-image and facilitate a sense of equality between students regardless of gender, race or class.

Westernport Family Violence Network Inc., Victoria

The Westernport Family Violence Network provides education and support to workers and a focus for educating the general community about the incidence of domestic violence and how violence against women and children can be prevented.

Combating Racist Violence and Vilification, Victoria

This project is a series of workshops to heighten awareness of the connection between racist stereotyping in the media and racist attacks in the community. The workshops are tailored to cater to the specific needs of target groups of different geographic, demographic and ethnic backgrounds. The project addresses the siege mentality which often prevails among victim groups whenever there is a climate of hysteria or vilification against them.

V-Net Standards of Practice Project for Men's Behaviour Change Programs, Victoria

This project involves the development of minimum standards of practice for running voluntary behaviour change groups for men wanting to change their violent behaviour towards partners and families.

Glenorchy City Crime Prevention Strategy, Tasmania

This project aims to assist: older people; households who have suffered repeated victimisation; young people who may be involved in criminal activities; council staff involved in fixing vandalised facilities, maintaining and designing public spaces; builders, developers and planners; and the general community. The crime strategy being implemented is a comprehensive coordinated approach at a local level which involves all key players.

Your Place Inc, Tasmania

This project targets prisoners in all Tasmanian prisons and youth aged fifteen to twenty-five. It offers counselling and support to people who are adversely affected by drugs or at risk of becoming so. There is routine screening of every prisoner who enters the prison system for their drug use pattern, follow-up support on their release, and counselling while in prison.

Support Help and Empowerment Inc., Tasmania

This project has two target groups. One is women who are or have been subjected to domestic violence. SHE offers support information and resources, advocacy, referral and education. The second group is the general community of southern Tasmania. It targets a wide range of service providers, educational institutions, lawyers, doctors, police, nurses and community health personal, Social Security and CES staff and neighbourhood houses.

Elder Protection Program, South Australia

This program is designed to promote older people's dignity and well-being. It links families and aged care expertise to protect older people and prevent harm or exploitation. It is an intake, assessment and intervention project which responds to reports of elder abuse within the community by providing prompt, cohesive and coordinated services in a sensitive manner.

WOWSafe: Women of the West Safe Families, South Australia

This is an action group made up of survivors of domestic violence and one worker. Its main priorities are: running a 'sister system' responsive to women in crisis; providing speakers to enhance the education of professionals; lobbying government agencies and politicians; contributing to community development and media strategies to reduce violence in the community; providing an accountability service to men's groups; and raising funds to support their endeavours.

Nicklin Program, Queensland

This project targets students/family of school communities with 'at risk', bullying, and violent and anti-social, behaviours. It provides a wide range of support services catering to all school-age students experiencing difficulties within the school community and family. These services can be individually tailored to suit individual, family and school needs.

(YACCA) Youth and Community Combined Action, Queensland

This project targets ten to sixteen-year-old youth at risk, with a priority on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. It organises activities designed to raise youth morals, ethics and community spirit.

Joint Churches Domestic Violence Prevention Project, Queensland

This project targets people affected by family violence and influential leaders in the church. It contains a train-the-trainer package and accepts that the church has not been immune to the gender and power imbalances manifest throughout our society. The project offers support for women experiencing violence in their homes and for the perpetrators.

Let's Lift the Lid, New South Wales

The aim of this project is to bring about change in community attitudes to violence. It has three main objectives: to increase understanding of, and knowledge about, domestic violence amongst local health professionals and service providers; to improve victims' access to information and support services; and to increase public awareness of domestic violence issues.

Other certificate projects

Awarded a certificate

Sexual Assault Prevention Program, Western Australia

This program was designed to develop primary prevention services within the Western Australian community in the area of sexual assault and abuse. It works with potential perpetrators to prevent them from becoming rapists.

City of Perth Surveillance Network, Western Australia

The City of Perth Closed Circuit Television Surveillance Network operates out of the Police Post in the Town Hall in the Central Business District of Perth. The project provides a comprehensive security system for the Central City with 24-Hour surveillance and a rapid response to incidents from Police.

South Carlton Youth Project, Victoria

This project targets the unemployed, low income and homeless. It provides a drop-in centre and sport and recreation activities. It assists in finding accommodation, employment, provides referrals to courses and assistance with legal problems.

Junior Neighbourhood Watch, Victoria

The program encourages a caring knowledgeable approach to safety, security, preventable crime and personal development. It aims to educate children to deal with conflict and unsafe situations in a non-confrontal way.

Men's SHED Project, Victoria

This project focuses on the prevention of men's domestic violence. It consists of: weekly support groups for men; a structured, educational men's responsibility program; community education focusing on attitudinal change; an integrated and coordinated network approach; and individual assessment of violent men.

The Salvation Army Positive Lifestyle Program, Victoria

This project targets offenders who require support to deal with anger, grief, self-esteem, depression, etc.

Week of Action Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Victoria

The Week of Action aims to raise community awareness of the issues surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault and thus encourage the community to take action to stop the cycle of abuse.

Family Violence Prevention and Education Program, Victoria

The program's main priority is to focus on the safety of women and children. It provides a supportive infrastructure for what is a very confidential program within a very involved community based setting. The program provides opportunities for personal support, sharing, learning, participation, celebration and opportunity to give to others.

Training Program, Women's Information Referral Exchange, Victoria

The aim of the program is to train volunteers so that they are able to provide information, support and a referral service through WIRE and thus enable women to make informed choices in their lives.

Protective Behaviours Program, Victoria

The program targets people at risk of becoming victims of sexual or physical abuse. It provides training for adults who have professional or personal contact with the target group. Adults use the program to empower their clients by helping them develop skills in assertiveness, problem-solving and self-protection.

SDA Self Defence Course Project, Victoria

This project provides courses that empower women, both physically and psychologically, who are union members working in the retail industry.

Adult Survivors Support Groups, Victoria

This is an eight-week group for ten women who are adult survivors of childhood sexual assault. It provides a supportive forum to explore issues of trust, self-esteem, anger and relationships. It also provides an ongoing support network.

Never Shake a Baby Campaign, South Australia

This is a state-wide preventative health initiative which addresses the dangers of shaking babies and provides parents with positive information about how to deal with a crying baby.

Boys Talk: A Program for Young Men about Masculinity, Non-Violence and Relationships, South Australia

This project aims to: enhance the health of young men; develop their awareness of the construction and effects of gender; encourage them to have pro-social goals, skills and motivation; and choose non-violent behaviour. Supporting school systems and youth services provide programs about masculinity, non-violence and relationships for young men as part of gender equity initiatives.

Emergency Department: Domestic Violence Prevention and Detection Project, South Australia

This project is a collaborative research, education and prevention initiative by primary health care and tertiary health services. It aims to enhance the prevention, detection and management of patients with domestic violence attending the Emergency Department.

Teenage Recreation Access into the Community, South Australia

TRAC enables youth with integration difficulties (intellectual disability, learning difficulties, social deprivation) to become involved in ongoing sport and recreation. It provides participants with activities that will prevent them becoming involved in a cycle of self-destructive behaviour.

Cunnamulla Crime Prevention Program, Queensland

This project attempts to reduce the incidence of violent crime by addressing the root causes of crime within the community. The program facilitates the development of locally-oriented initiatives. This includes the establishment of interprofessional cooperation between the police service and other government departments and community groups. There is an emphasis on sporting activities because sporting prowess is an important facet of prestige with peer groups.

Anti-Bullying Program (Bully Busters), Queensland

The program encourages the reporting of bullying and the serious treatment of this information. All cases reported are investigated, appropriate action taken and feedback given to all involved. Community Accountability Conferencing repairs the harm by exploring the effects of bullying on the victim, perpetrators and their families with opportunity for problem-solving and restitution.

PAVE (People Against Violence Esk), Queensland

Esk is a rural community with no public transport system. It is therefore difficult for victims of domestic violence to have access to or knowledge of services available in metropolitan areas. The project aims to provide information, counselling and support to individuals and groups to undertake community education activities.

Young Mothers for Young Women: A Peer Support and Advocacy Network, Queensland

This network grew out of a research project into young mothers' experiences of violence. Social isolation was identified as a major contributing factor and this prevented detection and a way out of the violent situation. Through the project the young women offer community education to professionals, based on their experience, about issues facing young women.

Domestic Violence Initiatives, Queensland

This project provides: court support for both respondents and aggrieved; assistance to police at time of crisis; support for families where there may be drug and/or alcohol abuse; assistance with completing and filing Protection Orders; provision of a register of government and non-government instrumentalities available; and self-help meetings.

Domestic Violence Prevention Strategy, Queensland

This is a public information and education campaign via multi-lingual print and display media advertising; provision of seminars; creation of mobile resource library; development of support groups for domestic violence victims; and establishment of a steering committee to direct the overall strategy and establishment of refuges.

Family Safety Program, New South Wales

This project aims to: promote the safety of all family members; intervene to prevent the inter-generational component of violence towards family members; offer a diversified range of services to all members of each family group regardless of who is the perpetrator or victim of violence.

Child Abuse Prevention Service (Sydney) Inc., New South Wales

The philosophy is to reach as many stressed families as possible where children are at risk. Their aim is prevention of abuse/violence before it occurs.

James Busby High School - Peacemakers Program, New South Wales

The aim of this program is to eliminate all forms of harassment and violence in the school environment. There are three components: The Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation Program taught to all staff and students; the Spreading the Word Program to inform the community of their successful initiatives; the Peacemakers Video Production.

Focus on Problems of Homeless Youth through Australian Children's Literature, New South Wales

Libby Hathorn is an author who has written two major works which focus on problems of homeless youth. These stories advocate resolution of conflict through non-violent means. They also provide a platform for discussion with students, teachers and the wider community.

Projects included in the Australian Violence Prevention Award Program between 1992 and 1995 are described in the report Violence prevention in practice : Australian award-winning programs.