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2008 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards

AICrime reduction matters no. 74

ISSN 1448-1383
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, January 2009

The annual Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA) were announced in October 2008 by the federal Minister for Home Affairs. The Awards, a joint initiative of the Australian, state, and territory governments, recognise outstanding community-based projects that prevent or reduce crime and violence. The winning projects, selected from a field of 67 nominated from around Australia, focused primarily on domestic and family violence, youth, and alcohol-related crime. Three national winners from the community sector were:

Domestic Violence - It's Not Our Game (Queensland)

The Normanton Building Safer Communities Action Team and the Normanton Stingers Rugby League Club jointly partnered and launched the highly successful campaign 'Domestic Violence - It's Not Our Game' in November 2006. The aim of the project was to reduce the incidence of domestic and family violence in the Normanton community, by creating positive role models in the community. The Normanton Stingers Rugby Club took on the slogan 'Domestic Violence - It's Not Our Game' and agreed to become role models for the community. The penalty for team members who participated in domestic violence was exclusion initially from games and ultimately from the team if the behaviour continued. They ran a social-marketing campaign, incorporating television commercials, car stickers, banners, and advertisements on the players' jerseys, all featuring the slogan. The campaign's purpose was to create a culture in which domestic and family violence is not the accepted norm. The project has seen a 55 percent decrease in the prevalence of domestic and family violence in Normanton.

Groote Eylandt and Milyakburra Liquor Management Plan (Northern Territory)

The liquor-management project was initiated by a local Indigenous elder and the local police concerned with the levels of alcohol-related violence in Alyangula (a predominantly non-Indigenous community) and in surrounding Indigenous communities. A liquor-management plan was introduced, bringing in alcohol restrictions on Groote Eylandt and Milyakburra to reduce alcohol-related violence in the local communities. This involved the issuing of liquor permits to residents and the establishment of a liquor permit committee, which made recommendations to the Liquor Commission on the suitability of applicants or the levels of alcohol permitted by the applicant. The system is managed by a voluntary alcohol-permit committee made up of key local stakeholders, such as Indigenous elders, community councils, a local mine and government departments. An evaluation of the program took place in 2007 and found that there had been a significant reduction in alcohol-related crimes.

Operation Flinders (South Australia)

Operation Flinders Foundation is a charitable organisation that runs a wilderness-based program for youths who have a history of offending behaviour or are at risk of offending. The program takes participants aged 14 to 18 on an eight-day exercise in the far northern Flinders Ranges, principally to effect positive life change for youth at risk and to reduce the recidivism rate of young participants. The program aims to develop the participants' attitudes, self-esteem, motivation, teamwork, and ability to take responsibility for their own actions though participation in wilderness-based activities. Program evaluations have demonstrated that the program positively affects psychological and behavioural outcomes for youth at risk, lowering their risk of future criminal behaviour, reducing marginalisation within the education system, and providing a medium by which to engage youth in a manner and style conducive to positive outcomes.