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2014 Australian Crime & Violence Prevention Awards

 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards

Download pdf version of Winning projects

Photos from the award ceremony are available on flickr:

Winning projects 2014

Announced by The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice
Wednesday 26 November 2014.

ACVPA board

  • Dr Adam Tomison (Chair) Commonwealth Government
  • Mr Andrew McIntosh Australian Capital Territory
  • Chief Superintendent Bradley Shepherd New South Wales
  • Superintendent Mark Christopher Northern Territory
  • Superintendent Matthew Vanderbyl Queensland
  • Senior Sergeant Joanne Howard South Australia
  • Detective Inspector John Ward Tasmania
  • Superintendent Tony Langdon Victoria
  • Superintendent Noreen O’Rourke Western Australia

ACVPA national winners

Two projects received national awards

Griffith Youth Forensic Service

Award: National Certificate of Merit

Griffith Youth Forensic Service (GYFS) provides specialised statewide assessment and treatment (therapeutic and risk management) services for court-referred youth sex offenders in Queensland. GYFS aims to: a) provide referred youth and their families with equitable access to high-quality services, regardless of circumstances and location; b) prevent reoffending and improve life outcomes for referred youth; c) build capacity in local communities for preventing or responding to future incidents of sexual violence and abuse; and d) conduct and disseminate research into the causes and prevention of sexual violence and abuse.

The Griffith Youth Forensic Service has been able to achieve very positive results working with the highest risk youth sex offenders in Queensland. Studies of reoffending among Griffith clients show very low rates of further offending, particularly among those receiving treatment through the current practice model, introduced in 2007.

Contact: Professor Stephen Smallbone

South Australia Police Home Assist Program

Award: National Meritorious Police Award

The South Australia Police Home Assist Program delivers outstanding service as a key provider of community crime prevention. Home security audits are conducted to prevent Home and Community Care service users being a victim, or a repeat victim, of crime. Presentations are delivered to increase the community’s knowledge of personal safety, home security and to decrease the fear of crime. The program results in people feeling safe to stay in their own homes and being able to participate in the community with confidence. Funding is provided by the state and Commonwealth Governments, with SAPOL in-kind support. The program provides a comprehensive, coordinated and integrated service.

In 2013-14 the South Australia Police Home Assist Program delivered more than 250 security audits, made contact with nearly 800 victims of crime. This was in addition to more than 150 presentations, community forums, community promotions and media engagements to increase community knowledge and reduce fear of crime.

Contact: Senior Sergeant Joanne Howard

ACVPA state and territory winners

Three projects received $5,000 and Certificates of Merit

Just Another Day

Award: $5,000 and Certificate of Merit

The nationally recognised Just Another Day theatre program run by HALO Leadership Development Agency aims to change the responses and attitudes of young Aboriginal men to domestic violence against women and children.

Scripted and performed by a small group of Aboriginal youth and men aged 15–25 years, the play is workshopped, rehearsed and then performed to school, community groups and at prisons.

The program offers a truthful and heartfelt insight into the lives of young people and the impacts of family and domestic violence on women and children.

Funded by community grants and private sponsors, the program is guided by the wisdom and advice of elders and youth workers and aims to influence young people to break the cycle of domestic violence as well as removing the associated stigma.

The audience of the play is offered a unique opportunity to interact, providing solutions and alternatives to actions and scenes that move them.

One independent evaluation found that there were health, education and confidence improvements in the young people involved in the production and a number of young people used the program as a stepping-stone to move into positions of leadership in the community.

Contact: Ms Kyra Bonney

Man-Up: A free risk prevention-mentoring program that uses dance to empower young men aged 12–17 years

Award: $5,000 and Certificate of Merit

The program (for between 12–16 participants per group) uses popular youth culture in hip-hop and breakdance to connect young people back to schools and their community. It helps young males who are at risk of perpetrating, or being the victim of, violence or property crime. The Man-Up framework comprises three elements:

Skill development—Each week, participants receive training from Kulture Break Dance mentors. The outcome is promotion of physical activity, teamwork, resilience, increased confidence and self-esteem.

Performance—Man-Up participants produce and present dances throughout the year. The outcome is to inspire and demonstrates to all participants and viewers that dance is a positive prosocial outlet that promotes positive engagement of young males.

Community giving—Participants contribute to projects that help those less fortunate people in the community such as the terminally ill, sole parents, elderly and marginalised individuals. Activities have included mowing lawns or enhancing playgrounds. The outcome is improved social awareness, community contribution and responsibility. It also provides a creative avenue to engage at-risk and vulnerable young males through an appealing and popular medium of dance, and divert them from anti-social behaviour and negative contact with the justice system.

The long-term plan is to expand the number of schools and participants by expanding the program to the Northside of Canberra and introducing a girl’s program called Ladies First.

Contact: Mr Francis Owusu

SafetyNet Australia

Award: $5,000 and Certificate of Merit

Safety Net Australia was established by WESNET under the guidance and mentorship of the US Safety Net Project run by the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The project provides engaging interactive training, resources and policy assistance in ways that both tech-savvy and non tech-savvy audiences can understand. Safety Net Australia:

  • Works with communities and agencies to address how technology impacts the safety, privacy and accessibility rights of victims/survivors of violence.
  • Educates a wide range of community agencies who work with women experiencing all forms of violence on ways to use technology strategically to help find safety and prevent or escape violence.
  • Advocates for strong local, state and national policies that ensure the safety, privacy and rights of all victims/survivors of gender-based violence.

SafetyNet Australia provides education and training about the safe use of technologies, particularly to women and young people, and makes them aware of how offenders use technology as a tool to control, stalk, abuse and find victims. Agencies who deal with victims of crime and violence have also been provided with education to enhance their understanding of the potential dangers of technology and prevention strategies.

Contact: Ms Julie Oberin

Six projects received Certificates of Merit

Assessment and Referral Court (ARC) List, Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

Award: Certificate of Merit

The Assessment and Referral Court List is a pioneering approach in Victoria to address the needs of accused persons who have a mental illness and/or cognitive impairment. Operating as a specialist list at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, the focus of the program is to assess the needs of participants and to assist with linking them into appropriate community services in order to reduce further offending.

The program targets re-offending through the identification and referral of accused persons who have an underlying mental illness and/or a cognitive impairment. The Court aims to work closely with these clients to help them access the services they need to address the causes of anti-social behaviour.

Contact: Mr Glenn Rutter

CALD Communities Leading the Way to Respectful Relationships: A community engagement initiative to prevent Family Violence in Victoria

Award: Certificate of Merit

The project addressed the current unmet needs of disadvantaged populations who due to language or cultural practices are isolated from family violence education programs. inTouch’s model of building community capacity via consultation, meaningful engagement and fostering ownership was effective in breaking the silence around violence against women.

Working with four cultural groups (Croatian, Indian, Sudanese and Vietnamese), through community-based taskforce committees, the project reached over 20,000 community members through 29 awareness raising activities over a period of two years. Eighty percent of the participants reported an increase in knowledge.

The program is an effective way to raise awareness on gender equality and the non-acceptability of family violence amongst four culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Contact: Ms Roshan Bhandary

Yuendumu Mediation and Justice Committee—as supported by the Yuendumu Mediation and Family Safety Program

Award: Certificate of Merit

The Yuendumu Mediation and Justice Committee draws upon both traditional Aboriginal ways and non-Aboriginal ways to manage conflict in the community. This has included community leaders becoming trained mediators and integrating this practice with more traditional conflict resolution practices to achieve ‘mala mala’ in proper sorry.

In doing so, the Yuendumu Mediation and Justice Committee has developed a method that has not only proved invaluable in building a peaceful existence in the community, but serves as a model for future generations.

The Yuendumu community has develop an example of a crime and violence prevention initiative that has had a positive impact on addressing conflict within an indigenous community that was significantly in disarray. In a short period, the program has been successful in achieving various positive results including extended period without violence or disruption in the community.

Contact: Mr John Gaynor


Award: Certificate of Merit

Youthbeat provides seven days a week engagement, prevention and case management for at-risk young people in the Perth metropolitan area. These young people can be both the victims and perpetrators of antisocial/criminal behaviour. Services include street-level outreach (foot patrols and mobile van, including Thursday–Saturday nights), practical assistance (eg food, bedding, clothing, transport vouchers, showering facilities), diversion (eg art workshops, youth camps), life skills and harm minimisation training, case management to address underlying causes of at-risk behaviour (eg homeless, family and domestic violence, alcohol and other drug misuse, mental illness) and targeted referral to other services (eg accommodation, mental health). In a recent 12 month period, 2,704 young people were engaged, 636 participated in recreational or life-skills programs and 756 referrals were made, including 324 to Youth Drug and Alcohol Services.

Youthbeat is a good example of a crime prevention initiative that focuses on at-risk young people, providing practical assistance, mentoring, alcohol and other drug education, life skills training and case management.

Contact: Ms Ciara Crotty

Monash Milk Bar Network Exchange to prevent and minimise harm from crime

Award: Certificate of Merit

The Monash Milk Bar Network Exchange was established in response to comprehensive community consultation that Monash City Council undertook with 44 local milk bars between 2012 and 2014. This consultation identified local milk bar businesses as being subject to repeat crime, theft, armed robbery and mental health impacts as a result of fear sustained through experience of crime. Milk bars are considered a soft target for criminal offenders, as they are often located in isolation, open late into the evening, have minimal staffing, operated by new Chinese migrants with limited English skills and there is often large amounts of cash on premise. Continuous consultation with milk bars in Monash identified that operators were reluctant to report crime to police, based on fear of fear of retaliation, cultural perceptions of police and limited English skills.

The Monash Milk Bar Network Exchange six month project (late October 2013–May 2014) invited 44 milk bar operators to participate in three Network Exchange meetings where they received small business crime prevention and safety information from Victoria Police, Council and community services. All verbal and written communication was translated into Chinese Mandarin by an interpreter service. The Monash Milk Bar Network Exchange has attracted widespread media attention and is now being replicated by other local government areas as a model for community crime prevention initiatives.

The Monash Milk Bar Network Exchange is a valuable initiative targeted at responding to the needs of a vulnerable business group in the community. By working closely with small business operators it has increased the reporting of crime and adds an important element to the range of services available to prevent crime and to support victims.

Contact: Ms Emily Halliburton

Summer of Respect

Award: Certificate of Merit

Summer of Respect (SoR) is an innovative summer-long, anti-sexual violence campaign, developed by Women’s Centre for Health Matters and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre. The campaign runs from October until March annually.

The long-term goals of the campaign are:

  • Challenge rape-supportive attitudes or misperceptions about sexual violence among men specifically and the community more generally.
  • Raise awareness about sexual violence and provide practical information.
  • Demonstrate what respectful behaviour looks like.
  • Emphasise men’s responsibility for their behaviour.

The activities of SoR change each year. For example, the target audience for SoR 2013–14 was young people, including potential victims and potential perpetrators/bystanders.

The SoR for 2013–14 was particularly well received. The output measures indicated that many young people in the ACT viewed or received the resources provided by the campaign.

Summer of Respect is a unique initiative targeted at raising awareness about sexual violence amongst young people. It demonstrates an impressive capacity to deliver a range of messages that can help protect a wide range of potentially vulnerable young people from sexual violence.

Contact: Ms Angela Carnovale

Four projects received Meritorious Police Certificates

Project Booyah

Award: Meritorious Police Certificate

Project Booyah, an initiative of the Queensland Police Service, is an integrated whole of government program that is delivering real change for young people at risk in Queensland. This is achieved by promoting seamless service delivery across whole of government and establishing effective strategic and operational partnerships with private enterprises that hold a capacity to extend and sustain change for these young people. Aligned with evidence-based best practice, our aspiration is to holistically address a young person’s disengagement from their family, their community and education to ultimately reduce and prevent their involvement in antisocial behaviour, substance misuse, self-harm and/or with crime and the criminal justice system. In order to achieve this, Project Booyah incorporates adventure-based learning principles, social development training, community interventions, mentoring, case management, education and vocational scholarships to support young people and their families to build careers and vocational pathways.

Project Booyah delivers important services to at-risk young people, helping reduce their risk through re-engagement with education and employment. It is a good example of the success that can be achieved through the collaborative efforts of government and the private sector.

Contact: Detective Senior Sergeant Ian Frame

Circle of Respect

Award: Meritorious Police Certificate

The Circle of Respect is aimed at building resilience and developing coping strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are at risk of disengaging from school. Areas that are addressed that are associated with youth crime include boredom, apathy and disconnection with culture/community, low resilience and self-esteem, loss of self-image, peer pressure and family conflict.

Circle of Respect is a very promising early intervention initiative that engages with at-risk and vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to divert them from becoming negatively involved with the criminal justice system. The program’s work contributes to the achievement of key outcomes in higher school attendance rates, decreases in young people entering the juvenile justice system and children successfully transitioning to secondary education.

Contact: Sergeant Paul Ansell

Youth Cultural Hot Spot Patrols

Award: Meritorious Police Certificate

Youth Cultural Hot Spot Patrols consist of first-response police officers, Police Liaison Officers and a culturally specific youth worker from Micah Projects. They commenced in June 2012 and were tasked to seek out at-risk youth at peak times in the locations where youth sleep rough in the city. Their challenge was to connect, divert and engage otherwise highly service-resistant young people. The contact was in trouble spots, often late at night and in the darker corners of the CBD and continues to be successful with connection made through culture as a basis for effective diversion.

This is an effective initiative for police to engage with at-risk youth by following a targeted approach. Indications are that the initiative has contributed to reductions in youth related crime.

Contact: Senior Sergeant Corey Allen

Boss of My Body

Award: Meritorious Police Certificate

An intensive protective behaviours program was implemented after an increase in sexualised behaviour among children was identified in local communities. Richard Wells recognised the need for a culturally identifiable medium for the children to learn through and created the DVD project. Funding was sourced through various agencies to secure a songwriter and producer to work with the children. The result was a DVD that showcased what the children had learned though the protective behaviours program. As a result, local children began talking about abuse and children’s confidence and their self-worth increased. Community members began to prioritise child safety and through singing the song and playing the DVD. Children who struggled with learning were able to articulate the protective behaviours they had learned. The project helped children who were abused or were perpetrators of abuse and taught them they are the boss of their bodies and that everybody has the right to feel safe.

The program is easily adaptable to address a range of antisocial issues in Indigenous communities; the learning program taps into the way Indigenous children learn about culture and history.

Boss of My Body is a good example of a targeted approach which uses culturally and age appropriate material to educate children within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about sexualised behaviours, substance abuse and antisocial behaviours, and opening the lines of communication on uncomfortable subjects.

Contact: Sergeant Richard Wells