Conference shares crime prevention knowledge nationwide

Gunnedah Shire Council

More than 100 delegates and 24 speakers from across Australia took part in the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Conference in Gunnedah this month.

Hosted by Gunnedah Shire Council, the conference brought together crime prevention and community safety experts, law enforcement representatives, a number of presenters with inspiring stories, and agency representatives with success stories to share their knowledge and experiences over two days at the Gunnedah Town Hall.

Gunnedah Shire Deputy Mayor and member of the Gunnedah Crime Prevention and Community Safety Conference Working Group Rob Hooke said the conference had been an overwhelming success, with delegates from across the country reporting they had gained important insights.

“As delegates heard, crime is a problem across many urban, regional and rural areas of Australia,” Cr Hooke said.

“But one of the most important tools in dealing with the concerns and ensuring safer communities is to share knowledge. There are many agencies, organisations and people who are making a difference in all sorts of ways.

“This was a very valuable way to get together some of those people in one arena, and to look at issues from every aspect – from statistics to lived experience, and from law enforcement to successful collaborative programs. It was inspiring and practical.

“The feedback we are getting is that this is the sort of event that is needed to cut through the difficulties of connecting the dots to make powerful decisions for change.

“I know there were certainly ideas there for concepts such as diversionary programs that might be considered by the Gunnedah Crime Prevention Working Group to assist in crime prevention in Gunnedah Shire.”

Keynote speakers for the conference were 2021 Australian of the Year and advocate for survivors of sexual assault Grace Tame, NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism the Hon. Yasmin Catley, founder of national mental health charity The Man Cave Hunter Johnson and social researcher and futurist Mark McCrindle.

Other speakers included representatives from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), the NSW Police Force’s Rural Crime Prevention Unit, the NSW Police Force’s Engagement & Hate Crime Unit, the Advocate for Children and Young People, the Centre for Multicultural Youth Victoria, Just Reinvest NSW, Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Home Corporation, Queensland Police and Logan City Council, the Violence Abuse and Neglect Services, cyber security experts and more.

The Crime Prevention and Community Safety Conference is estimated to have brought in almost $300,000 in direct and indirect economic benefits to Gunnedah Shire, with accommodation providers, caterers, clubs and hotels, and local businesses reaping the benefits over two-three days. Some delegates also extended their stay to include the weekend to enjoy Gunnedah and the neighbouring shires.

The conference has been a number of the years in the making and was organised by Gunnedah Shire Council and the Gunnedah Crime Prevention and Community Safety Conference Working Group.

Sponsors included Whitehaven Coal, Tamworth Family Support, Gunnedah Workshop Enterprises Ltd, Gunnedah Family Support, Gunnedah & Districts Liquor Accord, Care4U Services, Gunnedah Miners’ Support Group, Gunnedah Conservatorium and Gunnedah Meals on Wheels.

Caption: One of the keynote speakers of the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Conference, Hunter Johnson, founder and CEO of The Man Cave addresses delegates at the Gunnedah Town Hall.

More images available on request.

/Public Release. View in full here.