Currently on Groote Eylandt, local elders and residents at communities of Angurugu and Umbakumba have been working with Police, Remote School attendance teams, schools, AFLNT, Corrections and other stakeholders including Dept PM&C to bring about positive change and to make their communities safer. The community members are also very encouraged to hear that Charlie King and AFLNT and Police are working toward launching the “No More” domestic violence program on Groote in 2016.
The Officer in Charge, Snr Sgt Alex BRENNAN and other police members have been working closely with local residents and service providers to bring about proactive positive change with regard to community members making good choices. As was recently pointed out by Corrections and Police at Family Violence Program held in Angurugu, the ripple effect of one person making a good choice and being determined to make a single family unit stronger, can bring positive change for generations.
The reverse side of that coin with regards to one person making bad choices and their consequences was also analysed in depth. It was clear the message had struck home with the men attending the FVP course with one man summing it up by saying;
“Understanding all this, knowing I have choices, knowing I can change, it will change my life”
Police presented the graduating men with their FVP course graduation certificates. One of the men attending the FVP was doing so voluntarily for the second time to better learn from his “tool box” of choices and gain more ideas on how to become a better father and husband for his family.
Police also explained the’ Speak Up’ campaign that is a program formed in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch Australasia. It was reinforced that if a disturbance is starting, people must call police, then get their family away to safety and tell other families to do likewise.
One local elder relayed a story whereby a family man recently made a positive choice to give up cannabis, as he realised how his choice to use drugs was impacting not only himself, but his whole family and community:
“This local family man is now saving his money, is feeding and caring for his family much better, also having just purchased a family car with the money he is saving. His family are now looking up to him as a good role model”.
Huge change can be made with one good choice by a strong and determined individual.
There was a strong turnout at Umbakumba under the tamarind tree, where a very positive community safety meeting between the community, police and service providers occurred. ‘Speaking up’ to keep communities safe and being proactive with regard to Domestic Violence awareness and education were areas the community were keen to improve in and some very positive conversations were had. Community spirit on Groote shows that by working together, good changes can be made and that positive ripple effects can be generated when good choices are made.