Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

2005 Award winners

Announced by Senator the Hon. Christopher Ellison Minister for Justice and Customs and Senator for Western Australia on Thursday, 10 November 2005.


National award winners

Three projects were selected as national winners:

Circle Sentencing Nowra (New South Wales)

Award: $10,000 and a Certificate of Merit

The program may be described as an alternate sentencing court for adult Aboriginal offenders. Rather than a Magistrate sitting alone, respected members of the Aboriginal community who have a close association or kinship with the offender sit in a circle to discuss the underlying causes of the offender's behaviour in a community setting. Offenders who participate in the program must discuss the circumstances surrounding the offences they have committed. Victims are invited to participate in the process but their involvement is not mandatory. As with a standard sentencing, court legal representation for the offender remains as do police prosecutor and other agencies relevant to the sentencing process.

Operation Burglary Countdown (Western Australia)

Award: $10,000 and a Certificate of Merit

A burglary reduction pilot project which was conducted in two hotspot locations for 12 months. The objectives were to reduce the incidence of burglary and repeat burglary overall in the pilot sites, improve the response to burglary by State and Local Government and the community, improve community understanding of burglary and the importance of accurate and timely reporting of crime to Police. It was based on a multi-agency partnership approach to crime prevention and specifically seeks to make a greater impact on a wider community which is done through a series of processes aimed at reducing the offenders' confidence in conducting a successful burglary, making the crime more difficult to commit and making apprehension and conviction more likely.

Shepparton Koori Court (Victoria)

Award: $10,000 and a Certificate of Merit

The Koori Court operates as a special sentencing court within a Magistrates Court to create an informal atmosphere and allow greater participation by the Koori Community through the Koori Elder and Respected Person, the Aboriginal Justice Worker, Koori offenders and their families. It aims to reduce perceptions of cultural alienation and tailor sentences to the cultural needs of Koori offenders and operates by encouraging as many service providers as possible, as well as members of both the Koori and wider community to be involved in both the sentencing process and support assistance programs. The court identifies the causal issues facing an offender and includes the offender in that identification. It encourages the offenders to take ownership of their underlying difficulties and work in partnership with the relevant service providers to address the issues concerned.

$7,000 award winners

Three projects received an award of $7,000 and a Certificate of Merit

The Northcott Narratives (New South Wales)

This project works on the basis of people in the community telling their individual stories to each other as a way of building community confidence and addressing community issues such as housing, crime and safety. Numerous creative activities have provided tenants the opportunity to get to know each other. A play was developed and music festivals and jam sessions have attracted professional musicians from outside Northcott who work hand in hand with the tenants. The volunteer tenant committee operates a peer based community centre which runs groups, meetings and activities for tenants. The centre continues to attract more and more people who drop in, socialise, have a coffee, get support or meet with project partners. A crime prevention officer and a community development worker take action on tenants' concerns on crime and housing issues and provide feedback at regular meetings and through a monthly newsletter.

Gold Coast Schoolies Week (GCSW) 2003 and 2004 (Queensland)

Schoolies Week around Australia is a celebration by young people at the end of Year 12 studies which marks the end of their school life. In recent times, the high spirits of thousands of young people arriving in Surfers Paradise en masse with limited entertainment to occupy their time started to create problems. Strategies implemented to decrease crime and violence for the duration of the official period of Gold Coast Schoolies Week included the provision of diversionary activities on Surfers Paradise beach in order to occupy young people and move the large crowd from Cavill Mall; to provide supervision to young people throughout the evening and to drive them home or to public transport when possible; education for young people on their rights and responsibilities prior to arrival at the event and the coordination of government agencies and other service providers.

Taltjerlaendi Woldi (South Australia)

The project runs a residential support program for Aboriginal men recently released from prison, or Aboriginal men who are homeless. Each resident is assigned a Client Service Worker to assist and manage their case and support each client's re-socialisation. The goal is to continually develop and empower Aboriginal men to make positive and responsible changes in their lives, to strengthen their Aboriginal identity, self-esteem and personal dignity and to assist them in establishing sound relationships through ongoing re-integration with their families.

$5,000 award winners

Seven projects received an award of $5,000 and a Certificate of Merit

SupportLink e-Pathways (Australian Capital Territory)

The SupportLink project is the development of an e-referral pathway between police and the social support sector which allows police officers to refer people who need social support via a single e-referral portal. The project aims to reduce the incidents of suicide, domestic violence, preventable family breakdown, child and elder abuse, social isolation and crime. Approximately 2,000 people are being referred and assisted each year.

Deadly Treadlies (Northern Territory)

Deadly Treadlies creates a positive drug, alcohol and violence free space where young people have the opportunity to build a bike for themselves. Workshops are run in Alice Springs and an outreach program is run in local town camps, schools, learning centres, drop-in centres and remote Aboriginal communities. Young people are taught safe riding practices including basic road rules, wearing helmets, locking their bicycles and bike riding is encouraged as a form of physically active recreation. Communities have reported a decrease in vandalism and a reduction in solvent misuse during and after the workshops.

Project U-Turn (Tasmania)

A diversionary program for young people who have been involved in, or who are at risk of becoming involved in, motor vehicle theft. The core component of the program is a ten-week automotive training course in car maintenance and body work, delivered in a workshop environment. Other components of the program include case management and personal development; links to employment and further education; recreational activities; literacy and numeracy education; road safety education and post-course support. This was piloted in Tasmania over a 24-month period and a key emphasis of the pilot project was restorative justice, with participants undertaking community-oriented projects such as repairing damaged vehicles for presentation to victims of crime.

Bursting the Bubble for Young People Living with Family Violence (Victoria)

The project provides materials to support teenagers aged 12-18 who are witnessing domestic violence or who are directly subjected to child abuse or neglect. Key components comprise a comprehensive website titled Bursting the Bubble and a 16 page colour booklet titled 'Something Not Right at Home?' which was distributed to all secondary schools in Victoria and in each region across Victoria as the theme for the 2003 'Week without Violence' campaign. A range of full-colour posters, stickers and postcards were also distributed in cinemas, cafes and other public places. This program aims to assist young people to know how to protect themselves and how to deal with the emotional effects of child abuse.

Choose with Care - Building Child Safe Organisations (Victoria)

This program aims to reduce the risk of child abuse occurring within voluntary and professional organisations working with children and young people. The program provides training and workshops, a video kit, a child protection consultation service and a Choose with Care handbook. A resource called 'A Parents Guide to Child Safe Organisations' is also distributed. The project aims to build safer organisations for children and young people and reduce the risk of sexual abuse of children and young people.

Cramer Street Neighbourhood Project (CSNP) (Victoria)

The project aims to reduce the underlying causes which led to hate crimes in the area by generating better relations between neighbours and mosque residents and improving community safety and trust in the neighbourhood. The project brought together residents, mosque leaders, volunteers and local service providers to work on organising events, celebrations, study circles and seminars, which gave them the opportunity to learn about each other and subsequently reduce their prejudices and misconceptions and develop resilient neighbourly relations free from hate-related crime or aggression. An awareness building brochure which outlined the project's aims and objectives was distributed as well as fliers and information sheets outlining multi-cultural events, such as the multi-cultural neighbourhood festival, an open day at the mosque and an Interfaith Seminar.

Langwarrin Community Project (LCP) (Victoria)

The immediate goal of this project was to achieve a safer environment at the BP service station and the Gateway shopping centre and to achieve a stronger community in Langwarrin. Discussions around understanding and respect for young people were facilitated with local security guards, resulting in positive relationships between the two groups. BP Langwarrin also recognised the need for young people to feel valued and trusted and so introduced a policy of local employment for their station. These initiatives resulted in marked decreases in crime and violence, both at the Gateway shopping centre and the service station. The Project increased community events and activities for local teenagers. The strategies also resulted in evidence of less antisocial behaviour and criminal activity in the Langwarrin area and created an awareness and understanding of youth issues.

$2,000 award winners

Twelve projects were awarded $2,000 and a Certificate of Merit

Domestic Assault Response Team (New South Wales)

A two year pilot program which provides an integrated response to domestic violence for all family members including offenders and children. The project aims to educate parents on the impact of violence on children, brings their needs and issues to the forefront and takes the pressure off women to seek Apprehended Violence Orders. The team identifies families via police child at risk reports made following a call-out to a domestic violence incident. This early joint response from Department of Community Services (DoCS) and Police means families can be seen as early as within a day of the incident. Providing ongoing support for the family includes case plans, compulsory education programmes, intensive targeting of services and linking with key community partners in providing for families' identified needs. The project aims to reduce the incidence of repeat offences of domestic violence related crime and to break the cycle of violence for some of the targeted families who are the subject of repeated domestic violence reports to DoCS and Police.

Green Valley Domestic Violence Service (GDVS) (New South Wales)

A multi-agency, multi-discipline approach to provide a community based collaborative integrated response for women in domestic violence. It seeks to offer a seamless service to ensure that a quick response is provided to women, children and their families in domestic violence through facilitating the pathways between agencies to operate smoothly and efficiently. The project has two domestic violence counsellors and a child protection specialist and provides crisis counselling to women, children and their families. The project aims to improve the service system's capacity to respond to domestic violence and to improve the wellbeing of women, children, young persons and families in Green Valley.

Expect Respect Campaign (New South Wales)

This project aims to increase the knowledge of young people about the dynamics of healthy and unhealthy relationships. Through this campaign it was hoped to raise awareness of violence in relationships and show friends of people in abusive relationships the benefits to the community of supporting other young women through difficult relationships. The project developed a television commercial using the ideas and messages from consultations with local young people, then developed posters from the television ad and delivered them to high schools and local shops. The project promoted the campaign through state-wide, local radio interviews and local print media coverage and operated an information stall at 'Splendour in the Grass', conducting 400 surveys of young people regarding the advertisement and the campaign. Copies of materials and information regarding violence and abuse in relationships were also handed out.

Tangentyere Remote Area Night Patrol (Northern Territory)

The project provides Night Patrols to indigenous communities in remote Central Australia and relies on support from volunteers, traditional owners, community government councils, remote community residents and elders. It works to prevent family and community violence, works with substance abusers and children at risk and provides essential peace-keeping and law and justice services. The overall objective of the project is to build the capacity of remote communities to strengthen their Night Patrol services and to extend the operation of Night Patrols to all communities that see a need for such services.

Koora the Kangaroo: Violence Prevention at Woorabinda State School (Queensland)

A kangaroo mascot called 'Koora' was developed to raise awareness of domestic violence and challenge children's attitudes towards violence. School visits use traditional story-telling to promote cooperation, forgiveness, sharing, respect for culture, self and elders as well as respect for land and nature. The project also developed a teachers' resource package, which was designed to compliment existing school strategies to consolidate a school culture of non-violence.

Project Kit - VSM (Keep in Touch - Volatile Substance Misuse) (Queensland)

A project designed to lower the amount of Volatile Substance Misuse (VSM), which includes paint sniffing, aerosol abuse and consumption of methylated spirits, by raising awareness in the community. Retailers at the Raintrees Shopping Centre were provided with training and pamphlets to understand the dangers of VSM and its associated harms, such as theft, violence and anti-social behaviour. Retailers agreed to remove from shelves, or securely contain substances, to reduce accessibility to potential substance abusers. An Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander police liaison officer was assigned to work with youth workers to gather information on the extent of VSM users. The aim of the project is to provide awareness of security and substance misuse issues affecting the community and to create a protocol to address the issue of VSM.

Brisbane Personal Safety Program (Queensland)

Brisbane City Council administers this project to provide education and support to people in the community who were concerned for their personal safety. Research found that women and marginalised groups of people in particular felt unsafe at shopping centres, community centres, outdoor public spaces, at night, on weekends and even in their own homes. A personal safety program was implemented and tailored so suit vulnerable groups and community seminars made use of translators, and appropriate support staff, to convey the issues of safety and violence in Brisbane and Australia. Self-defence classes were offered free of charge to women and seniors. A website with generic safety information was also developed which included seminars and program contact details.

Valley Alcohol Management Partnership (VAMP) (Queensland)

The project aims to reduce alcohol related violence and increase public safety by implementing and monitoring best practices in the management of licensed premises. A Licensing Accord was launched to promote responsible service of alcohol and develop with Police and the local community a strategy to achieve local outcomes. A website and a monthly newsletter detailing current issues and events assist in getting the message to the wider community. The provision of Responsible Service of Alcohol training provided six sessions involving 104 participants from 17 venues in 2004. An increased police presence and improved signage at taxi ranks and CCTV coverage has helped reduce the level of violent incidents involving alcohol.

Sexual Assault: When Sex is Not OK - Information about Sexual Assault for the Deaf Community (Victoria)

The project has produced a DVD to provide information to the deaf community regarding sexual assault. The DVD is presented in auslan (Australian sign language) by deaf presenters for the deaf community and also has an interpreter's voice for members of the hearing community. This provides clear, concise information for deaf people in an accessible form and empowers them to prevent sexual assault and encourage disclosure as well as expose offenders. The project operates through the distribution of the DVD to members of the deaf community, particularly deaf youth in schools and community settings.

The Commercial Burglary Prevention Package (Victoria)

The aim of the project is to provide commercial building owners, managers and tenants with information and understanding of the nature of commercial burglary and its preventative mechanisms as well as informing all Victorian companies about the ways in which they can protect their premises from being burgled. This includes a commercial burglary website incorporating problem identification and comprehensive crime prevention advice; guidelines to assist commercial business owners to undertake a safety audit of their premises; pamphlets targeting specific businesses such as offices, factories, school and chemists; and a training package, including an audit checklist to assist businesses to train their staff. The aim of this project is to inform all Victorian companies about the ways in which they can protect their premises from being burgled.

SCRAM - School Conflict Resolution and Mediation (Western Australia)

This project aims to empower young people to manage disputes and conflict in a respectful manner by conceptualising conflict as difference and teaching respect for others. It takes the form of a series of four role-playing sessions using a variety of specially-developed scenarios, in which the students take on the role of either mediator or injured parties. Two mediators and two members constituting each injured party participate in each session. All participants (including staff members involved) are coached in the concepts, purposes, procedures and skills of mediation by trained mediators. The four role-play sessions are adjudicated and scored on site at each school by experienced mediators. The adjudicators provide verbal, followed by written feedback to each team to assist the young people to further develop their skills and knowledge in the mediation process. The two top scoring schools compete in a public grand final at a neutral venue.

Indigenous Sex Offender Treatment Program (Western Australia)

This program is delivered over a four month period by professional program staff to incarcerated Indigenous men convicted of sexual offences. It is based on a social learning theory that utilises cognitive behavioural and psychotherapeutic approaches to address factors known to contribute to sexual offending. The program content includes modules on colonisation, shame, issues arising out of tribal law, responsibility taking, cognitive distortions, sexuality and intimacy, consent, expressing and managing emotions, victim empathy, grief and loss, substance abuse and relapse prevention planning. Program sessions are designed to allow flexibility in order to respond to individual treatment needs and avoid a rigid or overly structured format.

$1,000 award winners

Nineteen projects were awarded $1,000 and a Certificate of Merit

Lismore Aboriginal Driver Education Project (New South Wales)

The Lismore Driver Education Program is a comprehensive driver education program designed to reduce high levels of driver offending by Aboriginal people on the Far North Coast of NSW. The program recognises a number of factors that contribute to unlicensed driving ie the lack of awareness of how to obtain a birth certificate, lack of funds to pay for driver knowledge handbooks or driving lessons, limited literacy and computer literacy levels and the lack of access to vehicles to learn to drive and licensed drivers willing to provide 50 hours driving practice, as is required by the Graduated Licensing Scheme in NSW. The program provides access to a computer-based driver knowledge test in local Aboriginal agencies offices, literacy and computer skills training, free driving lessons, licence testing in local Aboriginal community sites, access to supervised driving practice and assistance with applications to the NSW State Debt Recovery Office for "time to pay" to allow disqualified drivers to regain licences.

Citycare Newcastle Inc (New South Wales)

This project aims to develop programs that target socially relevant issues within the community and are potent in their positive effects on both participants and the community. Citycare's specialised departments include drug and alcohol rehabilitation, Homecare group homes, Nightcare, court support, property maintenance, work skills training, Charity Computers, counselling and family therapy. The project operates a residential home for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Participants come from various backgrounds and their families are from varying social structures. The daily program consists of a recovery and work skills training program and personal and small group therapy is also offered. Families are also assisted with counselling, support and encouragement.

Leaps (New South Wales)

Leaps is a mentoring project in which disengaged young people from disadvantaged areas are mentored by staff from large city law firms. The program brings the students, who may come from families affected by long term unemployment, into the workplace to show them the types of jobs which exist in large businesses. Volunteers from a city law firm are trained to mentor a student. The students are also trained in workplace behaviour. The mentors visit the school to meet the students and their families and to be matched. Both mentors and students sign commitment statements and after an initial work shadowing period, the students travel to Sydney once a fortnight to spend and hour doing structured activities with their mentors. The activities teach study skills, goal setting, ethics and work skills. Materials for the project include a brochure developed for parents, commitment statements and training programs for mentors and students as well as lesson materials. The aims of the project are to re-engage students in education, to increase motivation to complete high school and undertake further education.

People in Palmerston Parks (PIPPS) (Northern Territory)

A project designed to revitalise local parks and discourage crime and vandalism through community education and involvement. Using several initiatives, the project invites a local community to adopt a park. Supported by community and business partnerships, a fun day is held to raise crime prevention awareness and promote a sense of community responsibility. Youth participation is raised by involving schools in poster competitions. The winning posters are then displayed in schools, shopping centres, libraries and fast-food outlets.

Families and Schools Together (FAST) (Northern Territory)

The FAST project adopts early intervention in a school environment to empower parents and caregivers to provide strong support for children. Programs are run once a week for 8 weeks during school term by a collaborative team recruited from school staff, parents and community support workers. The aim is to strengthen family function, prevent school failure, increase school attendance, prevent substance and alcohol abuse, and improve school-home and family-community relations.

Tennant Creek Youth Initiatives and Safe Communities Strategy (Northern Territory)

This project has ten strategic program areas, including making places safer and friendlier, promoting acceptable social behaviour in the community, understanding and accepting people's differences and qualities, building better communities and providing opportunities for leadership and empowerment, and working together to create safer communities and to beat safety problems. The project aims to coordinate the implementation of Aboriginal cultural laws and to recognise the role of the Northern Territory Police in sustaining a safe community. It also provides opportunities for young people to live, grow and contribute to a safer community.

Rockhampton Skills Centre (Queensland)

The Rockhampton Skills Centre offers a safe learning environment for young people who are homeless, substance abusers, habitual truants, or are part of the juvenile justice system. Attendance is voluntary and activities include art, music, sport, cultural activities, computing skills, gardening, engine repair, numeracy, literacy and vocational guidance. The centre aims to assist participants in developing skills, knowledge and strategies to increase self-esteem, reduce anti-social behaviour and improve their conflict resolution skills, enabling them to reintegrate into mainstream education, employment and training programs.

Laidley District State School Pathways to Peace (Queensland)

Pathways to Peace is a long-term, community based, violence reduction/crime prevention program. It provides strategies and techniques to create peaceful and positive relationships in everyday life. Children and adults learn positive, appropriate ways of relating and interacting and the focus is upon "doing" and being pro-active rather than upon talking and being reactive. Pathways to Peace is flexible and adaptable and relies heavily on personal relationships, material resources and ongoing support rather than a more formal manual approach to implementation.

Bravehearts Inc - Community Education Awareness Project (BI-CEAP) (Queensland)

The project provides experienced, specialist and professional therapy and advocacy for child victims of sexual assault, the provision of educative prevention and early intervention strategies and the development and maintenance of community awareness programs. The program aims to reduce the incidence of child sexual assault through increased awareness and increasing effective treatment and management programs for offenders. A booklet called 'Loud and Clear' was produced to provide advice on navigating the criminal justice system for adult survivors, and an educational interactive CD-ROM called 'Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure!' was produced for children.

Murgon State School Pathways to Peace (Queensland)

The effective management of students is integral to the achievement of curriculum delivery and the attainment of learning outcomes. At the same time, the school community encourages the development of a supportive and safe school environment and to this end staff use a 'Behaviour Management Plan' based on Pathways to Peace which is a community based, violence reduction/crime prevention program which incorporates all members of a given community, regardless of age, gender, race, class or religion. It provides a common framework and a common language to assist individuals, families, early childhood settings, schools and community agencies to work cooperatively toward more peaceful, productive communities.

Raising the Seeds of Hope (Queensland)

The aim of the project is to increase levels of trust and safety by actively changing the culture and reducing levels of violence in the school. Students attend a series of workshops, presentations and school camps to promote team building and awareness of issues such as: domestic and family violence, conflict awareness strategies and violence in the community. Students take a 'Responsibility Pledge' as recognition of their work and commitment towards a happy, safe school environment. They also take part in school projects such as building mosaic desktops and a 'Harmony Garden' to develop connectedness to the school.

Nipper Safe (South Australia)

Nipper Safe is a Member Protection Strategy developed between the South Australian Police and Surf Life Saving SA, with support from Family and Youth Services. Each surf club trained people in mandated reporting and appointed two or three from that core group to become Club Reporting Officers. This group then received additional training from the South Australian Police, FAYS and the Office for Recreation and Sport which allowed them to provide a safer and more positive learning environment for children, and to recognise the indicators of sexual predators on the beach. Clubs have made their shower facilities 'nippers only' during certain times and members have been trained to approach people acting suspiciously on the beach. The training programs have provided coaches and instructors with information to guide them as to what is considered appropriate/inappropriate behaviour.

The 5 Schools Bullying and Harassment Prevention Project (South Australia)

This project is developing a strategy for five secondary schools in the Adelaide Northern metropolitan region to ensure that they actively discourage bullying and promote safe, healthy, supportive and respectful relationships in children. Information sessions are provided for students, parents/caregivers, non-teaching staff and other school community members about bullying and harassment issues. The project has raised awareness of bullying and harassment in each of the schools' communities through the development, review and reinforcement of school practices and processes, such as student counselling approaches and integrative programs for suspended students.

Panyappi - Indigenous Youth Mentoring Projects (South Australia)

Panyappi is an Indigenous youth mentoring service for young people who experience multiple problems that lead them to frequent inner city or other suburban hangouts, placing them at risk of being a victim of crime or engaging in offending behaviour. Culturally appropriate practice in human services and theory and practice in the mentoring and crime prevention fields guide the design and conduct of Panyappi.

Radio Holiday (Tasmania)

The project engages disadvantaged young people from the North West Coast of Tasmania and links them to older residents of five remote communities. ?Skills are developed with young people that enable them to communicate, interview, record and present unique stories back to their and other communities. Project workers were proactive in encouraging young people to the project which included visits to homes and schools, discussions with parents and young people and involved mentoring relationships between young people and key workers. Networking with existing youth services and community organisations in the area was a priority throughout the project and structured workshops, media events, site visits, community interviews, mentoring by a range of prominent artists and performers, and the production and distribution of artworks were all planned components.

Kyabram Indigenous Needs (KIN) Network - Prison Project (Victoria)

The project runs full-day workshops in the prisons to address family violence issues. Aboriginal inmates run music workshops with Elders, where violence issues are addressed through the inmates' words/songs/music. Music and songs are recorded for the inmates' enjoyment and reflection and often these are shared with family. The project aims to raise awareness of the effects of family violence on the community, and to encourage inmates to acknowledge the effect that their actions have had on their family and help them start their own process of healing. A compilation CD featuring 22 original songs is currently being recorded for distribution to Indigenous radio stations, organisations and individuals.

NARTT - Northern Assessment, Referral and Treatment Team (Victoria)

This project provides support to people with problems associated with drugs and alcohol who come into contact with police. Participation is voluntary and the program aims to offer support to suspects with drug and alcohol dependencies, mental health issues or other factors that contribute to their offending including gambling, issues with anger management, homelessness, employers, other health issues and family dysfunction.

Broome Helping Young People Engage (HYPE) Project (Western Australia)

A mobile outreach support service which aims to prevent antisocial and offending behaviours through building positive partnerships between young people, service providers, local government, the police and community members. Project teams walk the streets in areas young people typically gather and interact with them to develop trusting and reciprocal relationships. Workers are given time and space to diffuse situations to ensure young people are cognisant with the consequences of actions and alternative choices they can make. The teams liaise with all relevant stakeholders and share information at weekly debrief meetings. This project aims to improve safety and security for young people and the wider community, and promote the participation and inclusion of young people in public space.

Decisions of a Lifetime (Western Australia)

This program is presented in the form of an interactive drama play presented to children aged between 9 and 12 years. The play is based on a character called Duggie, who is 18 and facing the consequences of a life where no thought has been put into every day decisions. The play flashes back to Duggie at 11 years old to see the kind of decisions he made on a day to day basis and look at whether respect played a part in these small decisions. The play demonstrates four main themes based on respect, i.e. respect for people, respect for the environment, respect for property and respect for self. The children are encouraged to write down all the bad decisions made by Duggie, which form the basis for a question and answer session and discussion at the end of the show. A teacher support package is provided to teachers, which contain activities researched and developed by the Western Australia Centre for Health Promotion Research at Curtin University.

Merit award winners

Twenty-six Certificates of Merit were awarded

Hangin' In and The Connection (Australian Capital Territory)

A peer driven indigenous youth initiative involving a group of young, socially excluded Indigenous people who use, or have used, drugs and are caught up in cycles of incarceration. The project gave the group a chance to meet weekly and talk about difficult issues in their communities and work together to achieve goals. The group developed a play on their collective story called Hangin' In and presented it at the HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C and Related Diseases (HHARD) Conference in May 2004. The project has grown into an organised group of activists looking at, and addressing, the root causes of substance misuse and incarceration, including domestic violence, sexual health, long-term unemployment, policing, racism and discrimination.

Constable Kenny Koala Safety Education Program (Australian Capital Territory)

The Constable Kenny Koala Safety Education campaign is principally aimed at delivering safety messages to young children and to inject a belief that crime prevention is a positive life style message to build on. Constable Kenny is the ideal face of the AFP within the targeted audience of primary school children as he is liked and trusted by them. The campaign educates children on safety issues that affect them in their everyday lives. The core of the Constable Kenny Koala campaign is to educate primary school children at various levels and is designed to teach children on how to effectively deal with various situations that may, in later years, lead to crime or the fear of crime. The campaign has a strong community focus and endeavours to bridge the community and Police. Constable Kenny reinforces the message that the police are friendly, caring people who are there to help children just like them. The safety messages delivered are reinforced through the child's progression through primary school and this element of the campaign is crucial as it builds a strong tie between Constable Kenny, safety and the children.

Settling In: A Group Program for Newly Arrived Refugee and Migrant Students (New South Wales)

The aim of this project is to assist students in the process of adjustment to life in Australia. It was developed for use with students at secondary school level but can also be used with upper primary students and young adults. The program provides ten sessions of about 50 minutes, each addressing a major aspect of resettlement and involving facilitator input, discussion and activities. The program covers many issues of immediate relevance for students, including likes and dislikes about Australia, dealing with anger, anxiety and depression, people and places that can help, goal setting, problem solving, personal strengths and socialisation.

DVIRT - Domestic Violence Intervention Response Team (New South Wales)

A project which works to increase the level of safety, support and information provided to domestic violence victims at a time of crisis. The project aims to empower victims of domestic violence through the provision of information, referral, advocacy and support and to reduce the amount of victims withdrawing from Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) applications. When police attend a domestic incident they obtain the female victim's permission to give her details to a project worker, who will then assesses the client's support needs and makes necessary referrals. The project worker's aim is to ensure the victim follows through on the police ADVO application. Project workers may also support the victim through to court dates where the victim is then followed up by the domestic violence court assistance scheme.

Taree Street Beat (New South Wales)

The program provides a positive, pro-active presence on the streets and offers transport for young people to get home or to other safe places. Two qualified youth workers, one of whom is Aboriginal, staff a bus that provides outreach intervention to young people on the streets at night. The project also provides case management and referrals for young people and their families, if necessary. On a Friday night, young people are driven to and from structured recreational activities at the Resource Room at the PCYC. This provides a forum for interaction with family and community members who may not otherwise interact with young people.

My Mates - Youth Peer Mentoring Program (New South Wales)

Young people representing the various youth sub-cultures and groups in the area are recruited and trained in community mentoring each year. The group of young people is then supported to address the issues that affect them and their peers in their everyday lives by providing peer education and support and a positive role model of young people to the community, as well as to other young people. The young people meet weekly to plan activities and projects that address local issues and build community understanding and harmony. Projects include: group discussions with peers on current issues, running camps for other young people who are at risk, community BBQ's, sporting activities, intergenerational projects such as hosting morning teas for local seniors, working alongside youth street-workers to connect with at risk detached young people, workshops with TAFE students on cross cultural issues/understanding, presentations on various youth issues and media projects to address the negative images of young people.

Tangentyere Youth Activities Service (Northern Territory)

The project provides a wide range of structured activities including music, art, sport and cultural activities for up to 600 indigenous children and young people living in Town Camps in Alice Springs. Many of these children and young people are at risk from, and are exposed to, substance abuse and violence within their community. The project runs a number of programs, including sports and recreation, community courses for young men and women and an after school program. Workshops are also conducted in hand drumming, film making, circus skills and arts and crafts.

Restoration not Retribution (Queensland)

Conferencing is used as a way to mediate between school students to resolve incidents of physical violence and racial issues. Students are encouraged to explore how their action affects others and how they themselves feel about their actions. Teachers are trained to promote accountability and reintegration, and a 'no blame' conference is used for more serious issues that might affect a whole class.

3R Program (Queensland)

The project provides an alternative school setting for 'at risk' students. Students attend the program between 2-4 days per week spending the rest of the week at their regular school. Behavioural issues are addressed through a range of activities, concentrating on literacy and numeracy skills, team building and outdoor activities. Emphasis is placed on cooperative, meaningful and experiential learning with the aim of improving anger management, communication skills, decision making and self-esteem.

The Opening Doors Logan Police - Ethnic Communities Partnership Project (Queensland)

This project involves workshops between Police and members of ethnic and indigenous communities. The workshops are used to improve trust and communication between the Police and ethnic communities and to develop strategies to deal with issues such as child protection, health, racism, domestic violence and education. There are two workshops; the first involves presentations and information sharing and the second involves representatives of relevant government agencies, community awareness visits to the local police station and addressing issues raised during the first workshop.

Collaborative Innovative Response for Youth at Risk (CIRYAR) (Queensland)

This program provides free counselling services to young people aged 14-21, offering crises management, personal support, counselling and psychotherapy. Additional support is provided through a Reference Group made up of community, council and government services. So far, 280 young people have received individual case management and support, and over 1000 have been helped via group programs in schools and in the community. The program aims to reduce the incidents of substance abuse, self-harm, suicide, school truancy, theft, physical violence and abuse.

Domestic & Family Violence Court Support & Counselling Coordinated Initiative (DOVFCCI) (Queensland)

The program provides court support, information, advice and referral to victims of domestic and family violence. It also provides victims with advocacy advice and assistance in gaining appropriate legal representation and support in court, if needed. Education and information regarding court processes and family violence legislation is offered to victims, as is assistance to perpetrators in gaining access to appropriate support services. The program aims to contribute to a 'Zero Tolerance' approach to family and domestic violence by providing counselling and a coordinated response, including appropriate referrals to victims of violence.

Diversity Counts - Legal Information for Women Project (Queensland)

The aim of this project is to increase and improve access to legal services for Filipino women living in rural and remote Queensland and to provide specific legal information to Filipino women about domestic violence and the legal system in Queensland. A set of resources including a 'pocket card' and a leaflet with specific information about domestic violence, women's legal rights and aspects of the legal system that may be relevant to Filipino women and women in general was produced. It provides them with information in their own language and with options to encourage them to seek assistance.

It's Not Your Fault (Queensland)

This project presents three one hour classes over a three week period to children in grades five, six and seven. The learning outcomes are to help children understand domestic and family violence and the difference between domestic violence and an argument. Children are encouraged to find alternative non-violent ways to deal with feelings of anger and aggression. The short-term goal is to reduce incidents of bullying and violence amongst youth, with an emphasis on encouraging students to realise that violence is not acceptable either within the school environment or within the community.

Townsville Safety Audits 2002-2004 (Queensland)

This project involved a mail-out of safety information, emergency contact numbers and a stamped addressed envelope to everyone on the electoral roll in the Townsville area. Residents had the opportunity to inform councillors about issues and concerns in regards to safety and crime in their areas. This aided Police in the setting up of new Neighbourhood Watch Groups and assisted public works projects, particularly in terms of rectifying hazards identified in the audits, such as graffiti. Community members felt they had a say about what contributes to safety in their neighbourhoods, thereby encouraging better use and ownership of public places.

City of Charles Sturt Volunteer Graffiti Removal Program (South Australia)

The project recruits and trains volunteers to remove graffiti from private, commercial and public property. Members of the public can call a customer service centre to report graffiti, and graffiti identified by the program is targeted for removal. In a ten-month period in the 2003/04 year, 7,605 graffiti tags were removed, covering an area of 10,516 sq meters. Additionally, commercial property owners are encouraged to be good corporate citizens by quickly removing graffiti from their buildings. This has resulted in a reduction in the amount of graffiti throughout the City of Charles Sturt, especially in high profile areas, such as along main arterial roadways and areas of public gathering.

Police in Schools Program - Launceston College (Tasmania)

In this program, a police officer attends Launceston College for 4 hours per day to perform a range of duties that are designed to prevent anti-social and unlawful behaviour and promote pro-social behaviours by students, both within and outside the school environment. The aim is to develop a strong relationship between students and staff of Launceston College and Tasmania Police and to create a safe learning environment in which students can be supported to act within the law. The police officer promotes positive behavioural choices for students to deter anti-social acts and for them to conduct themselves within the law.

Ropes Program (Victoria)

This project aims to turn a negative contact with the police and court into a positive one by bringing together a young offender and the police officer who charged them. The young offender attends a course with police officers to break down barriers and help each to see things from the other's perspective. By encouraging them to speak to, interact with and rely on police and other young people, a change in attitude and demeanour is often achieved. The actual day involves undertaking a 'low ropes' and 'high ropes' course, followed by a discussion session. This assists the young offenders in understanding the consequences of their actions and aids them in relating to the police in a more positive way.

Safe City Cameras Program (SCCP) (Victoria)

The project comprises the City of Melbourne's public Closed Circuit Television operation. This assists Council and the Victoria Police to work together to improve response times to crime and other emergencies. The program was developed to aid in the provision of a safer physical environment, to reduce crime levels by deterring potential offenders and to aid crime detection. There are 23 cameras located in the CBD and specially trained security personnel monitor the cameras 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The project aims to enhance the perception of safety in the CBD and reduce the nature and level of specific crimes such as drug dealing, being committed.

VLEDF Drink Spiking Community Education Campaign (Victoria)

This project disseminates educational messages to patrons in licensed venues, such as hotels, nightclubs and bars in metropolitan and regional Victoria on the dangers and other harms associated with drink spiking. The campaign also includes a message for bar and security staff of licensed venues with information advising what to look out for and what to do in the event of a drink spiking incident. The aim is to raise awareness about drink spiking and its related criminal harms such as sexual assault, rape, assault, theft and personal injury, to increase awareness of, and encourage adoption of, protective/preventative practices, behaviours and responsibility in social settings and increase access to victims of drink spiking to services for support, counselling and treatment.

Crime Stoppers Rural (Victoria)

The project sought to inform people in rural areas of crime issues, encourage them to be pro-active in terms of crime observation and to stimulate their participation in passing crime details to police directly or via Crime Stoppers, if preferred. It consists of a multi-faceted education campaign involving the distribution of brochures, posters, feature articles in The Weekly Times, exhibits at Field days and community service announcements via the WIN television network. Over 1 million brochures and 10,000 posters have been distributed.

Lose the Booze (Victoria)

The project involves enforcing public alcohol consumption laws to target areas subject to criminal damage, graffiti and unlawful consumption of alcohol and to curb the anti-social impacts associated with public drinking. Joint patrols with Council and Police members were initiated and followed by active prosecution of liquor consumption penalty notices. Training was provided to licensed security officers to ensure they were better equipped to deal with liquor consumption issues within their areas of operation. This project aims to ensure that a safer environment is achieved in all public places and that incidents of assault and criminal damage associated with illegal public drinking are markedly reduced.

Pyalong Neighbourhood Watch Community Project (Victoria)

The aim of this project is to raise awareness of local crime issues by publishing a large-scale magazine incorporating local safety, environment and historical issues in addition to the Neighbourhood Watch programme. The magazine contains regular articles from partnership community safety groups such as the Country Fire Authority and the Red Cross which targets community with health and safety issues relevant to the local area. The magazine is delivered to every occupied home in the Panyule Ward of the Mitchell Shire. A website incorporating Neighbourhood Watch reports, police reports and general safety issues was also established and a Junior Neighbourhood Watch program, which is the only group of its type operating outside schools in Victoria, meets on a fortnightly basis.

Whitelion: Helping Young People at Risk Turn Their Lives Around (Victoria)

This project provides social support services for young people in custody within the Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre (Young men 15-17); Parkville Youth Residential Centre (Young women 10-21 and boys 10-14); and Malmsbury Youth Training Centre (Young men 17-21). The project offers several programs including employment, mentoring, sports role model, an Indigenous program, a Dynamic Living program, and a Statewide Role Model Program.

The Big Issue (Western Australia)

The Big Issue is a current affairs magazine which is sold on the streets by unemployed, homeless and socially disadvantaged people. New vendors of the magazine are given training, a small supply of magazines on consignment and a uniform so that they can start to earn some money quite quickly. They buy the magazine for $2 and sell it for $4, thus making a $2 profit from every magazine they sell. They are allocated a place to sell the magazine, called a pitch, which has been approved by the relevant local authority. The long term goals of the project are to assist unemployed people who may be in danger of or who have already become involved in crime and aims to provide an environment which encourages changes in attitudes and behaviour.

South West Leavers Coordination Project (Western Australia)

This project coordinates non-police responses to the drug and alcohol misuse problems and anti-social behaviours of school 'leavers' who converge on coastal towns in the South West of Western Australia and produces a Leavers Coordination Model for use by communities affected by 'leavers' activities throughout Western Australia. A coordinator ensures non-policing resources, such as parent volunteers, drug and alcohol counsellors and Schoolies Chaplaincy are used to the greatest effect and that the needs of the host communities are addressed as well as possible. The coordinator also liaises with schools and provides information to students through a number of lectures to metropolitan schools, delivering the lessons in partnership with the police and non-government agencies.

Related links