Police Minister Bob Wiese today praised the work of six community-based organisations for winning national recognition in their efforts to reduce violent crime in Western Australia.
At the presentation of the 1995 Australian Violence Prevention Awards, Mr Wiese said the State winners had faced daunting competition from 116 submissions received throughout Australia.
The national awards acknowledge projects which assist in the prevention or reduction of violence in the community and the joint Commonwealth/State initiative carries a total prize pool of $100,000.
Mr Wiese said all the groups were fully supported in their work by the WA Police Service and it was crucial for the police and community organisations to tackle violent crime through a unified approach.
"It is pleasing that projects which aim to prevent violence and cut down on crime finally get the recognition and the financial assistance they deserve for helping to safeguard our community," he said.
Recognised for outstanding achievement were the School Volunteer Program and the Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation, which each received a cheque for $5,000 and an award.
The School Volunteer Program is organised by Rotary International and the Council on the Ageing and has achieved significant results in reducing domestic and school violence through the counselling of students by senior volunteers. Since it began operating in April 1994, more than 400 senior volunteers have assisted 600 school children in 34 senior high schools throughout the metropolitan area.
The Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation Committee works to reduce the incidence of juvenile crime by providing counselling programs for young offenders through training, education and emotional support.
Mr Wiese said community projects that were commended by the judges included the Elder Abuse Prevention Program and the Kidlink Early Intervention Program which both received a certificate and a cheque for $1,000.
The Elder Abuse Prevention program assists seniors who are at risk of physical and financial abuse by developing strategies for the care and support of these people, as well as raising community awareness.
The Kidlink Early Intervention Program helps to break down the isolation of socially disadvantaged families by assisting them in their own homes to increase their confidence and become more community-orientated.
Mr Wiese said the Sexual Assault Prevention Program and the City of Perth Surveillance Network were also recognised in the awards for helping to reduce violence in the community.
The Sexual Assault Prevention Program assisted people in the area of sexual assault and abuse by developing preventative strategies to stop them committing sex attacks or rape.
The City of Perth Surveillance Network operated out of the police post in the Town Hall and monitored certain sections of the city by closed-circuit television. The project provided a comprehensive security system for the central city region with round-the-clock surveillance and a rapid response to incidents from police.
Mr Wiese said the awards were important recognition for people who were prepared to help make their community a safe place to live.
"Many of the people involved in these groups work tirelessly in their efforts to help others and I congratulate them on their dedicated contribution to such a worthwhile cause," he said.
Media contact: Mark Thompson on 222 9595