Winner: Mr Ken Rehbein, Neighbourhood Watch Mackay
The Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) 2019 Malcolm Grant Volunteer of the Year Award was bestowed on a highly involved individual, a man who has been actively involved in Neighbourhood Watch activities for more than a decade. Yet, Ken Rehbein was “hugely” surprised when he learned he’d achieved this high-level award.
And, of course, true to his nature, he was generous about the people he works with.
“One does not do the things we do for the sake of awards, but it is wonderful to receive recognition. This Award is not just for me, but all of the dedicated Crime Prevention Officers, Police Officers and Neighbourhood Watch volunteers around the nation,” Ken said.
“Without their dedication and involvement, Neighbourhood Watch would not exist.
“Neighbourhood Watch means a lot to me. In Queensland we have more than 400 active groups and thousands of volunteers, it’s the primary community organisation within the Queensland Police Service (QPS) Community Participation Program.”
The Neighbourhood Watch Australasia Malcolm Grant Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual who has volunteered their time through Neighbourhood Watch or Neighbourhood Support to empower people and communities through the development of strong and effective partnerships, promoting quality of life, safety, wellbeing and social inclusion.
Ken has been an active member of Neighbourhood Watch Queensland (NHWQ) for over 11 years and was the recipient of the Mackay District Member of the Year Award back in 2013.
Furthermore, he has been the NHWQ Community Advisory Committee representative for Mackay’s Police District since 2015. Similarly, whilst working in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Unit and the Northern Beaches NHW, he has established the successful “cuppa and chat” program for the Northern Beaches area. Ken also organises regular events such as the Men’s Breakfast in partnership with “Shed Happens” and led the Mackay “Lock Your” project. He’s also the Facebook administrator for the local group, as well as helping to educate the community about the POLICELINK app.
Ken has worked closely with Mackay District Crime Prevention Coordinator on a cyber safety initiative which involved designing credit card USB sticks with cyber safety messages displayed on the side, in an effort to highlight cyber bullying issues. Last but not least, Ken has galvanised Neighbourhood Watch volunteers to work with local Volunteers In Policing to set up the BBQ on the Bruce Highway to assist during road safety weeks.
Neighbourhood Watch and assisting the community is clearly a calling for Ken and he’s a great supporter.
“The organisation not only strengthens safety in our neighbourhoods, it also enhances the opportunity for empathy between the police and the community,” Ken said.
“It can also provide a valuable source of information to our police in an informal way because people are relaxed at our regular, casual meetings.
“Importantly, Neighbourhood Watch provides a conduit to bring neighbourhoods together.
“It’s a pleasure to work with our Community Contact Command people in QPS HQ, as well as those in the Mackay Police District, our CPU and the officers at our Northern Beaches Police station. It’s also a pleasure to work with NHWQ staff and other members of the Community Advisory Committee.”
Neighbourhood Watch Australasia Chairman Bernie Durkin was pleased to announce that Mr Ken Rehbein from Mackay Neighbourhood Watch in Queensland received the Malcolm Grant OAM Neighbourhood Watch Australasia Volunteer of the Year Award.
“There are tens of thousands of Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) volunteers in groups throughout Australia, all working together towards making our communities safer, more cohesive and more resilient.
“Whether it’s passing on information to other members of the neighbourhood about home security, providing valuable information to the police or just running a local sausage sizzle to bring community members together, Ken exemplifies what it means to be in Neighbourhood Watch,” Mr Durkin said.
Commissioner Carroll said, “Congratulations Ken on receiving this prestigious award and thanks not only to Ken, but all NHWQ members for their outstanding contribution to community safety and prevention together.”
Ms Maria Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) said, “It was inspiring to see the dedication of NHW volunteers like Ken. It is credit to all NHW volunteers for the tireless work that they do.”
“The work of Neighbourhood Watch epitomises the quote by Sir Robert Peel in 1829, who is recognised as the father of modern policing, ‘The Public are the Police and the Police are the Public’, and today it still as relevant as it was nearly 200 years ago.”
“The NHWA Volunteer of the Year Award recognises the outstanding contribution of an individual who demonstrates continual support to NHW, giving freely their dedication and time,” said Ms Bennett.
Inspector Les Bulluss, Crime Prevention and Neighbourhood Watch said, “We are so fortunate to have such a strong base of Neighbourhood Watch volunteers throughout the State, both in groups and in our significant online presence at www.nhwq.org”.
“The Neighbourhood Watch volunteers work together with the Queensland Police Service to make our neighbourhoods safer, stronger and friendlier,” Inspector Bulluss said.
Winner: Leading Senior Constable Joseph Clarke, Victoria Police
On the 26 November 2019, Minister Dutton announced Leading Senior Constable Joseph (Joe) Clarke as the recipient of the Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) Police Commissioner’s Award. Each year, this award is given to a police officer or employee who has worked with Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) to empower people and communities through the development of strong and effective partnerships that promotes safer communities, engagement and social inclusion.
Leading Senior Constable Clarke is stationed at Mildura Police Complex and is the recipient of the National Police Service Medal. He has been involved with Neighbourhood Watch since 2009, when he was appointed the role of Neighbourhood Watch Police Co-ordinator. Since then, he has revitalised the program and has introduced new initiatives, some of which has been adopted across the country.
Joe upholds and demonstrates the key values of this award through the many community initiatives which he is involved in. These include the Walk and Ride to School Pedestrian Bus for primary school students, building long-term relationships with the local Indigenous community and talking to the aged care residents and staff about crime prevention measures and systems.
He is also involved in running regular property identification marking days and assists in replacing community members number plate screws with one-way security screws. Further, Joe has revitalised the Crime Beat media program, which he co-ordinates by gathering relevant promotional material on crime prevention and releasing this material through different media channels including printed news, radio and social media. Joseph’s involvement in Field Days is one of the ways that he interacts with rural residents and does so by manning a display stall to educate them on the importance of crime prevention.
Joe is also the creator of Junior Neighbourhood Watch, which first came about after he engaged primary school students in Neighbourhood Watch activities. The program started at Mildura West School and Mildura South School and is now being introduced across Victoria and the other states and territories of Australia. The program is delivered in conjunction with Helen Worcester, Area Coordinator of NHW Mildura, who assists with the delivery of the program. The aim is to raise the children’s level of awareness and to take the message home to parents, which could possibly change outdated behaviours in relation to crime prevention and road safety.
In December 2020, Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent presented Joe with his award in the presence of NHWA Chief Executive Officer Maria Bennett, NHW Mildura volunteers and police officers. During his speech, Deputy Commissioner Nugent said that “Joe epitomises the critical link between community and police working together to achieve better outcomes”. Maria Bennett, CEO of NHWA said “Joe makes the Junior Neighbourhood Watch program come alive and he has the children enthralled with each lesson, from fingerprinting, forensic art, how to be a good witness, to name a few. It’s great to see Neighbourhood Watch being embraced by the younger generation with such enthusiasm.
On behalf of the NHWA board and staff, we congratulate Joe for receiving this award.
Winner: Mrs Wendy Walker, Neighbourhood Watch Mountain Creek
The award, named after Malcolm Grant OAM, known for his immense contribution to the Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) movement, recognises the outstanding contribution of an individual who demonstrates continual support to NHW.
Wendy has been the driving force behind the Glenfield’s NHW program and took over as Area Coordinator of Mountain Creek NHW when they both merged in 2014. Some of the projects she has been directly involved in are the first Sunshine Coast speed reduction program ‘50 in my Street’, oversaw the installation of electronic VMS speed detection signs, designed and distributing 2000 emergency number magnets to residents, coordinated the 25 years celebration of the Mountain Creek NHW in 2017, introduced a Mountain Creek NHW facebook page to stay in touch with residents and continually applying for financial grants for the benefit of her community.
Ms Maria Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) said “Neighbourhood Watch members are the eyes and ears of the Police in every street and in every community. It is inspiring to see the dedication of NHW volunteers like Wendy. It’s a credit to all NHW volunteers in Australia for the tireless work that they do. Congratulations to Wendy for truly outstanding service and earning the Neighbourhood Watch Australasia Malcolm Grant Volunteer of the Year Award”.
The District Officer of the Sunshine Coast Superintendent Darryl Johnson said “Neighbourhood Watch here on the Sunshine Coast have strong partnerships with local police. Wendy is a ‘true believer’ and is a leader in our community and has driven many projects and strategies to make our communities safer. I congratulate her on this recognition for her contribution”.
Mrs Walker said “I am honoured to receive this award I find giving back my time and effort into each of our projects for our Mountain Creek community is very rewarding, and helps make our suburb a safer place which to live” Inspector Les Bulluss, Crime Prevention and Neighbourhood Watch, said “There are 11,000 registered volunteers throughout the State, working together with Queensland Police Service to make our neighbourhoods safer, stronger and friendlier”.
Inspector Bulluss also said “Neighbourhood Watch Queensland celebrates 31 years of operation this year. Their priorities are crime prevention and public safety and are closely aligned with police services. Local Neighbourhood Watch groups collaborate to discuss crime and anti-social behaviour in their regions and research and implement appropriate crime prevention strategies”.
Winner: Senior Constable Ian Edwards, Tasmania Police
The recipient of the NHWA Police Commissioner’s Award for 2018 is Senior Constable Ian Edwards. Senior Constable Ian Edwards is currently based at the Burnie Police Station and is the Police Liaison Officer for the Cam/Somerset Neighbourhood Watch group.
Senior Constable Edwards has been chosen for his outstanding commitment to community safety and crime prevention through his tireless efforts to build residents support of the local neighbourhood watch programs and the policing agency. Senior Constable Edwards is actively involved in supporting Cam/Somerset NHW, supporting and including present and past members. He visits some older members who now reside in nursing homes to ensure they remain informed and included. He was a pivotal part of the “Lock It or Lose It” initiative in the local area getting the security message out to the broader Community. He displays leadership, particular with the programs he is involved with that pertain to children, such as Dream Big, Community Kids and Crime Stoppers Youth Challenge.
Commissioner Hine presented Senior Constable Edwards with his award at a ceremony and morning tea held in his honour at the Tasmania Police Academy in Hobart last month. Members of the NHW Tasmania Board, NHWA Board and NHWA CEO Maria Bennett, were also in attendance to thank him for his dedication and hard work to NHW and the community.
Winner: Ms Gailene Miller, Neighbourhood Watch Riverview
The award, named after Malcolm Sidney Grant OAM, known for his immense contribution to the Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) movement, recognises the outstanding contribution of an individual who demonstrates continual support to NHW. As a founding member of NHW Riverview, Gailene has held numerous positions in the group’s committee, from writing newsletters and delivery person to Zone Coordinator and Treasurer.
Ms Maria Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) said “It was inspiring to see the dedication of NHW volunteers like Gailene. It’s a credit to all NHW volunteers in Queensland for the tireless work that they do. Congratulations to Gailene for truly outstanding service and earning the Malcolm Grant Award”.
Acting Superintendent Mel Adams said “Any meeting, function or event held in the Riverview, Ipswich district, you will find Gailene there planning and coordinating the events. Apart from making sandwiches, cooking sausages and serving popcorn, Gailene also provides her knowledge, guidance and community social connections to the group, whilst promoting and inviting others to become involved. Her passion and commitment aligns with NHWA’s overarching goal to create safer and more socially cohesive communities”.
“I am thrilled to receive this award,” Ms Miller said. “I enjoy the work that I do so much, and I love spending time with my fellow Neighbourhood Watchers and with so many wonderful people in Riverview. It’s all about working together to make our neighbourhoods safer for everyone”.
Inspector Les Bulluss, Crime Prevention and Neighbourhood Watch, said “There are 11,000 registered volunteers throughout the State, working together with Queensland Police Service to make our neighbourhoods safer, stronger and friendlier”.
Neighbourhood Watch Queensland celebrates 30 years of operation this year. Their priorities are crime prevention and public safety and are closely aligned with police services. Local NHW groups collaborate to discuss crime and anti-social behaviour in their regions and research and implement appropriate crime prevention strategies.
Winner: Senior Constable Amanda Dohrman, Queensland Police Service
Senior Constable Amanda Dohrman from Bundaberg in Queensland, receives the 2017 Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) Police Commissioners Award, for her 11 years of commitment, contribution and investment to Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) groups in the Bundaberg region.
After being appointed as NHW Liaison Officer for Bundaberg 11 group in December 2005, Amanda has held numerous roles, including Assistant Area coordinator, newsletter editor, secretary and treasurer and guest presenter at conferences and meetings. She has involved herself in all areas of NHW activities, including organising the 2008 North Coast region NHW Conference; organising speakers for meetings; overseeing and organising Christmas family days; producing ID Cards for NHW members; organising the NHW11 25th birthday celebrations; community sausage sizzles and Neighbour Day events; participating in the “50 in my street” sticker campaign and seeking sponsors for a 2018 magnetic calendar.
“Initially, when I heard that I had won this award, I felt very humbled” said Amanda. “It is inspiring to be recognised for being a decent human being and just being kind and compassionate to other people. NHW is an avenue to impart knowledge about security and policing issues within our community and is an excellent partnership for the Queensland Police Service. In this dynamic environment that we live in, however, there is always going to be the constant of crime. We need all of the tools we can to be one step ahead or to better prepare our community for when these offences occur. I see NHW as being one of those tools. It is a brilliant avenue for imparting knowledge. Our community know that we care about their safety”
Chairperson for the Bundaberg & District Neighbourhood Watch Association Wendy Byrne said “Amanda has endless energy, interest, assistance and devotion to not only NHW members, but also to many members of the community”.
Winner: Helen Worcester, Victoria
This year’s winner has dedicated 29 years to Neighbourhood watch in her local area of Mildura. She has been a dedicated and committed Neighbourhood Watch volunteer since the program began in 1987. She was one of the original members of the Mildura Neighbourhood Watch Steering Committee and started the program by knocking on doors, raising funds and recruiting volunteers. Twenty nine years later, she remains enthusiastic and dedicated in her role as the Divisional Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator of Western Region Division 6 and a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Victoria Board of Management.
The recipient of this year’s award was instrumental in forming community partnerships with the Mildura Rural City Council, Mildura and District Aboriginal Services and Victoria Police to address issues of community safety and crime prevention. Her partnerships have seen the development of Junior Neighbourhood Watch, Koori Cubs program, school bike marking days and the walking school bus program at primary schools to name a few. These inclusive programs have resulted in enhanced community partnerships, social inclusion and enhanced quality of life.
Winner: Senior Constable Candice Strain, Queensland Police Service
The recipient for this year’s Police Employee of the Year Award has been chosen for outstanding commitment to community safety and crime prevention through her tireless efforts to build residents support of the local neighbourhood watch programs and the policing agency. She is described as an extremely passionate person, who is professional and caring who does most of her community Neighbourhood Watch work in her own time.
Whilst her time in this position is relatively short in career terms, her achievements are significant in terms of community change and development. Her capacity to identify issues quickly with the community and develop solutions for application has been of particular note. She has a very infectious manner with her “go get them and let’s get things done attitude”, that has boded her well with working with local school children.
She has been successful in obtaining grants for events; she has established multiple new groups within the region; her use of social media and linking the NHW program has seen it used as a best practice model in the district; she is working with school children to develop Junior Neighbourhood Watch.
Her community say, “There is no task Candice won’t do, even if it is letterbox drops”.
Winner: Steph Mccallum, QLD
Neighbourhood Watch Volunteer Steph McCallum has been an active member of Neighbourhood Watch Mount Isa for the past three years, and has been a driving force behind the promotion of NHW, and local crime prevention messages. As the Administration and Marketing Manager on the NHW Committee, Steph has coordinated the involvement of the community to help the NHW Group to raise over $50,000 in funds for NHW Mount Isa, over 20 NHW events, and crime prevention projects.
Steph commenced a Facebook page to engage community members. She recognised a need for Facebook interaction, after identifying that the Mount Isa community communicates best through social media. NHW Mount Isa share crime prevention information, home safety advice and local updates from the MyPolice website that is useful and relevant to enhancing community safety, and encouraging the community to contribute to crime prevention with simple strategies like locking up, securing vehicles, and removing valuables. The page has over 2,300 followers, which is the total population of the community, with active participation, above any expected level for over three years.
Steph has participated in Neighbourhood Watch and has contributed more hours, more personal commitment, and more outcomes than most members across the state, including those who may have held their membership for over 30 years. Steph is a great Ambassador for Neighbourhood Watch in Australia, and utilises her energy and drive to help other NHW groups work more closely with their community and local police.
(Steph was unable to attend the Awards Presentation so her award was presented to Lisa Parker).
Winner: Senior Constable Mark Readman, Queensland Police Service
This award is selected through the NHWA Community Funding Program. The award is given in recognition of an innovative community project, promoting community safety and NHW values.
The aim of this project is to further expand on the “Make the Call” – Sunshine Coast Division Domestic Violence NHWQ Coffee Cup Project which was successfully launched in Caloundra on 10 March 2015. This involved NHW and Police approaching and encouraging local coffee houses to participate. Six coffee outlets agreed to use 500 domestic family violence branded take away coffee cups at their business in order to saturate the local area with the domestic family violence message that “Domestic violence will not be tolerated. Not now. Not ever.”
This project has proven very successful with each coffee outlet exhausting their supply of 500 cups on average within two to five days. Each of the coffee houses wish to continue their involvement. The project was promoted via the QPS blog, NHWQ Sunshine Coast blog and received media attention via local television, print and radio. Since the launch the initiative has been presented in Canberra by the CEO of NHW Australasia.
(Mark was unable to attend the Awards Presentation so his award was presented to Acting Superintendent Michael Miley)
Winner: Senior Constable Sandy Atkinson, Queensland Police Service
Senior Constable Sandy Atkinson’s above and beyond, go the extra mile approach is greatly appreciated by the Sunshine Coast Community. The promotion of the Police educational messages along with looking out for each other through Neighbourhood Watch programs is making a positive impact on the Sunshine Coast. Senior Constable Sandy Atkinson’s tireless efforts in spreading community safety messages and bringing people together, has had a positive outcome towards reducing crime in the region. One of the many projects that Sandy has been instrumental in delivering to her community was the emergency phone number fridge magnet, which was delivered door to door in a show bag, with media coverage.
Some of the other activities Senior Constable Sandy Atkinson contributes to are the applications for funding on behalf of NHW groups for insurance and projects and launching the Maroochydore NHW blog, which she also writes weekly articles for. She also participates in safety audits in local areas involving NHW members, liaises with local council on behalf of the NHW groups and approached the relevant authorities in regards to traffic concerns and speed limits.
Senior Constable Sandy Atkinson was instrumental in the Walk to School Program and National Walk to School Day and assisted with the training of NHW volunteers in traffic awareness. She organised the Kuluin NHW events over the past 3 years, and organised both the media and prizes for the events. She organised the launch of the newest NHW Program in Brightwater, in May 2015, with a media campaign to promote the NHW program, which now has a very active committee. Senior Constable Atkinson has been a judge and guest speaker over the past 4 years at the Maroochydore 8 NHW Mt Creek Speech Night, liaising with the local high school and organising other judges when required.
Winner: Philip Brown, New South Wales
Philip has built up relationships with local groups and represents NHW with the local Ryde Council, Ryde Chambers of Commerce, Service groups, and local Sports clubs. Philip is developing ties with the Chinese, Korean and Farsi communities where he is about to print leaflets in their language promoting NHW.
By example Philip has encouraged over 4,700 residents to become involved in NHW. He has set up three Assistant Coordinators one for each area as well as over 60 newsletter delivery personnel.
Philip regularly meets with local members of the public to ascertain their concerns and advises members of Council whilst continuing to espouse the merits of NHW. He personally has garnished support from local businesses as sponsors and partners to contribute finances to offset the cost of the newsletter and associated running costs. Philip and his committee have plans in train to expand into another five adjacent defunct areas in cooperation with the local residents of Denistone East, Ryde and West Ryde, the police and local government. Currently he is busy setting up a long term strategy to insure that all concerned parties are on board so that failure is not an option
Philip was employed for over 44 years with the Electricity Commission of NSW, which became Pacific Power and later Transgrid. He resigned in 2011 as a Senior Public Servant but continues to live an active life within the local community.
Philip has had a distinguished career as a volunteer outside of his work.
Winner: Matthew Brookhouse, Northern Territory Fire And Rescue Service
This award is selected through the NHWA Community Funding Program. The award is given in recognition of an innovative community project, promoting community safety and NHW values.
The Clean and Clear Program Matthew developed is specifically designed for remote and Indigenous communities. The project is to engage and educate the community to start helping themselves to prevent sickness and illness, fires and in turn will hopefully help promote tourism to the area.
The overall objective is to work with the whole community to clean up rubbish from around houses and to keep grasses cut short around houses and other buildings prior to the upcoming fire season.
There are many complex issues within communities and this project has been designed to help educate community members about the actions they can take, with support, to improve overall health, wellbeing and community safety.
NHWA is working in partnership with the NT Police and NT Fire and Rescue Service to promote this initiative.
(Matthew was unable to attend the Awards Dinner so his award was presented to the Northern Territory Board Member Troy Stephens)
Winner: Senior Constable Tracy-Dale Middleton, Northern Territory Police
Tracy-Dale’s enthusiasm and energy makes her a natural when it comes to community engagement. She is passionate about crime prevention and has the ability to engage with all members of the public from diverse backgrounds, ages and experience. She has been involved in many activities with a variety of community partners to build community spirit and cohesion.
Through building strong relationships with many community groups and individuals Tracy-Dale is able to leverage and maximise her efforts. Funding was successfully obtained from the Australian Government to run a series of youth related events. In conjunction with the NTG Office of Youth Affairs, local councils and Music NT, large-scale events were held in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs. This increased greatly the exposure of Neighbourhood Watch to a young audience in an engaging way.
It would be hard to find a better ambassador for the Neighbourhood Watch, with a facilitative leadership style Tracy-Dale engages and empowers community members and volunteers to take action and get involved. Her dedication and belief in crime prevention is contagious, she encourages all to contribute in their areas of interest and ability and she never fails to genuinely thank any assistance or effort.
She goes to great lengths to ensure that the organisation is transparent and accountable and that Board members are fully informed of initiatives and activities she is undertaking. Her professionalism is outstanding in fact often going beyond what is required and working long hours and being flexible in her approach to include others.
Tracy-Dale is also an innovator, understanding that NHW NT must evolve and adapt to ensure that it is relevant and that its messages are accessible to all, examples of which include our new look newsletter, our facebook page with over 2300 likes and ensuring that the new website has capacity to allow future projects using You tube.
Winner: Geoff Kloot, Victoria
Geoff is a tireless worker for NHW and is always searching for projects, schemes and opportunities to enhance the program and contribute to meeting its objectives. Geoff’s commitment to NHW over the past 28 years has been outstanding.
Despite his workload as a senior public servant, he became involved in his local Area in Manningham in 1985 and shortly after that became Area Coordinator – a position he held for over 25 years.
He was active in the Manningham Sector and continued with the Region 4 Division 1 Committee as Chairman and State Forum Delegate after amalgamation. He introduced many innovations, including bike marking days in local parks, special street signs, one-way screw days and specific local window stickers.
With the Police restructure in 2010, he took the role of Chairman of the Manningham NHW and also became Divisional Vice-President when Manningham was transferred to Eastern Region Division 1.
He continues as the driving force behind the very active Manningham NHW and was also elected to the State Board in 2012 where he also provides drive and energy in strategy and planning.
Winner: Neighbourhood Watch Victoria
The 2013 Federal Minister, Neighbourhood Watch Australasia Innovation Award goes to Neighbourhood Watch Victoria, for the Manningham Neighbourhood Watch project, for their interactive Crime Prevention Computer Game for Children.
This award is run in association with the Neighbourhood Watch Australasia Community Funding Program. Every successful Neighbourhood Watch Australasia Community Funding Program application is automatically entered into the Innovation Award.
The Federal Minister – NHWA Innovation Award will recognise an individual and/or NHW group who are striving to improve community cohesion through the adoption of innovative community safety and or crime prevention initiatives within their community.
This Award celebrates the efforts of an individual and or a NHW group who develops new approaches to address challenges and delivers positive results in their community.
By showcasing the successful Neighbourhood Watch Australasia Community Funding Program applicant’s approaches to community safety and crime prevention, the Award seeks to raise awareness of innovative localised problem solving within the community. This is achieved by working together within the community and or in partnership with Police and or Local Government Authorities to create safer, connected and inclusive communities.
Winner: Acting Sergeant Fiona Barker, New Zealand
Acting Sergeant Fiona Barker is a thorough, conscience police officer who always viewed prevention as a crucial element of daily policing. This was long before preventative policing had the momentum it has today. Her motivation for working hard is not driven by personal gain, but by a real desire to benefit the community in which she works. She goes the extra mile and often exceeds any expectations people may have of her as a police officer.
The Neighbourhood Policing Team works in the lowest socioeconomic neighbourhood of Levin and it produces a disproportionately high level of calls for police service. It is a challenging area and one in which we traditionally have the least engagement.
Acting Sergeant Barker has developed an outstanding rapport with high risk families in the area, which has improved our standing in the neighbourhood. This has led to reduced calls for police service. Her status in the community has also assisted her to initiate some very effective projects improving community well-being.
Acting Sergeant Barker has also developed productive relationships with local schools, kindergarten, churches and social agencies, including the local Child Youth and Family Home. These relationships help us to identify and resolve issues before they get out of hand.
Acting Sergeant Barker has also been instrumental in the growth of Neighbourhood Support and in particular the Junior Neighbourhood Support Groups.
In summary, Acting Sergeant Barker has had a huge impact in the neighbourhood we work. She has driven many positive changes and the results of her commitment will be long lasting.
Winner: Mr Gordon Levenson, New South Wales
Gordon is currently the Honorary Secretary of the Combined Tweed Heads Neighbourhood Watch Groups. Gordon has been an active and passionate member of Neighbourhood Watch in NSW since its inception in 1984. Gordon is also a NSW Police Force Volunteer in Policing and was one of the first eye watch precinct coordinators appointed in NSW.
In the last 28 years, Gordon has developed and continued to lead the Tweed /Byron communities in the development of 18 Neighbourhood Watch groups across his region. He has worked closely with state and local government to ensure a community voice was heard relating to safety in the community. Gordon has provided thousands of volunteer hours over the years in providing a crucial link between the communities of the Tweed and the NSW Police Force.
Gordon has been recognised by Mr Geoff Provost MP, Member for Tweed for his leadership, integrity and commitment, by being appointed as the Hon. Secretary for the combined Tweed Neighbourhood Watch Committee, which is chaired by Mr Provost.
Prior to the current NSW Government coming to power in 2011, the now Minister for Police attended a range of community meetings in various locations across NSW. In a meeting in Tweed Heads he was introduced to Mr Levenson, who spoke passionately about Neighbourhood Watch and the fact that NSW Police Force had an interest in Neighbourhood Watch. This was one of the catalysts for the NSW Liberal and National Coalition to announce the policy direction that now sees Project Eye watch as a new tool in community engagement and the reinvigoration of 21st Century Neighbourhood Watch.
As a result of Gordon’s commitment, the Tweed was selected as a pilot site for the NSW Police Eyewatch program. Gordon was trained as a precinct coordinator and has driven the creation of the Eyewatch program in the Tweed / Byron area of NSW. More so he has provided a mentoring and coaching role to many other precinct coordinators that have come on board with NSW Police.
Project “Eyewatch” represents the NSW Police Force’s strategy to reinvigorate community engagement, crime prevention and openness in policing, developing local solutions with the community to identify local crime and social disorder issues. Gordon as a Community precinct coordinator, reports crime issues in their area and together these problems are worked though with local solutions developed in a collaborative approach. Crime is being solved, with offenders being identified, arrested and placed before the courts faster than prior to the Eyewatch project.
Gordon is an extraordinary advocate for NHW and a wonderful example of a passionate community leader.
Winner: Watchsa, Holden Hill
This year’s award was given to the WatchSA Holden Hill Local Service Area and was presented to Karen Robinson, APM, Manager of Crime Prevention Section Holden Hill. Accompanied by Detective Chief Inspector Brian Smith, Acting Officer in Charge, Holden Hill.
The NHWA Minister’s Innovation Award is aimed at recognizing a “community project” that has taken identified a significant community issue and found an innovative way to find a solution to that issue.The aim of this recognised project was to address cyber bullying through social networking sites. This is not only a criminal offence but is also leading to significant health and wellbeing issues in the community, including suicide. Young people are the largest current group affected by cyber bullying, but adults are also becoming involved primarily through the misuse of social network sites, such as Face book.The factors that contribute to the problem in the community is theft of electronic devices, due primarily to public apathy of not marking their electronic property and recording the serial numbers of their devices. Ignorance of the law in relation to cyber bullying and the consequences and also ignorance of safety and security measures available to public.
The project funds will be used for the provision of 600 USB’s containing internet safety messages and information on free download applications and programs re computer safety and security. Plus information on cyber safety and anti cyber bullying re social network sites.
Winner: Sergeant Lawrie Nauschutz, Australia
Sergeant Lawrie Nauschutz has dedicated nearly 40 years as a community-focused Police Officer, 20 of those years as a Police Liaison Officer to four coastal groups. Community is paramount in his eyes. Due to his commitment to community, confidence has increased; Safer physical surrounds have been created due to mutual respect created between NHW, Police, residents, visitors and most importantly, youth.
Lawrie in his role as a Police Liaison Officer is committed to making vibrant positive NHW groups and attends as many events as possible. NHW Members are inspired by his commitment to QPS and allegiance to NHW.
Local NHW assist Police when anti-social behaviour occurs. One example is when Bundaberg, Bargara & Innes Park skatebowls were graffitied. 15 offences were solved when a local resident confided in Lawrie after a NHW meeting. NHW organised Bike & Road Safety Talks purely to reign in youngsters who were vandalizing property. It is through Lawrie’s attendance and guidance at NHW monthly meetings that have brought about successful change in the community.
Some particular highlights of Lawrie’s exception kindness above and beyond the call of duty are:
When Disaster Strikes: Lawrie was successful in organising and obtaining a home for a family who lost their home and all of their possessions in a fire in Bundaberg. He contacted various Bundaberg businesses. With their kind donations, the house was fully furnished with white goods, clothing, sporting equipment for the children and substantial money was donated to support and help this family.
Mentoring Youth & Others: People within the community have called upon Lawrie to speak to their children who may be heading down the wrong track. He was successful in getting some into the Agricultural College at Clare in the Burdekin. Recently, at an eating outlet in Bundaberg, the Chef introduced himself and thanked Lawrie for supporting him when he was only 14 years old by providing guidance and helping to get him away from the wrong crowd involved in drugs and crime.
Without doubt, Lawrie is an outstanding recipient of this award.
Winner: Mr Atul Garg, Western Australia
Mr Garg has held various positions of volunteer, Street representative, Suburb Manager and City volunteer Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator from 1995 to-date. His current role involves engaging voluntary activity with about 600 NHW volunteers and about the same number of additional program supporters. He is currently responsible for coordination and management of Neighbourhood Watch activities in all 18 suburbs in the City of Melville. These include strategic planning, organising and chairing meetings of volunteer Suburb Managers, WA Police representatives, and representatives of the City of Melville, arranging BBQs, recruiting and coordinating/training volunteers, seeking guidance from WA Police, Neighbourhood Watch State Office, and media liaison for publishing and promoting information towards building a safer community.
Under Mr Garg’s leadership, the City of Melville NHW Team enjoys tremendous support and goodwill within the City of Melville. During the last 12 months the group has been extremely vibrant and committed. The volunteers come from different backgrounds and age groups. They bring lots of different skills and knowledge to the group. Under his guidance he has achieved significant results for the NHW Team.
Winner: Sergeant Pat Creasey, New Zealand
Pat has shown his passion for building stronger more resilient communities in his role as a Crime Prevention Officer in the New Zealand Police from 1993 – 2001 and then as the Co-ordinator for Neighbourhood Support Canterbury from 2001 – 2010. While co-ordinator for Neighbourhood Support Pat has grown the aim of neighbourhood support from one of mainly crime reduction to one where residents are now encouraged to know their neighbours, to be aware of the strengths and needs in their own street and to be more able to work together in the case of the civil defence emergency or pandemic.
During his time as co-ordinator the number of established neighbourhood support groups in Christchurch has grown to over 2000. With an average of 10 households per group there are approximately over 20,000 households actively involved in neighbourhood support groups.
Pat has contributed to the vision of a safer City through his involvement with the Safer Christchurch Committee.