Lachlan Area Command

Passion for policing

• Condobolin man, Kevin Read, has been named as a finalist in two categories in the prestigious Rotary Police Officer of the Year Awards – Employee Of The Year and IJ Community-based Policing Award (Unsworn). MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Kevin Read has a passion for community policing.

The Condobolin man is an Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer with the Lachlan Local Area Command.

His dedication and committment has seen him named as a finalist in two categories in the prestigious Rotary Police Officer of the Year Awards – Employee of the Year and IJ Community-based Policing Award (Unsworn).

From the Murrin Bridge Mission near Lake Cargelligo in the west to Peak Hill in the north and Forbes in the south, Kevin regularly travels up to 4,000 kilometres a month to attend community meetings and events.

Through calm negotiation, Kevin has often brought about peaceful resolution to situations, avoiding the need for arrests and protracted “man hunts.”

He has been at the forefront of Aboriginal youth diversion initiatives such as “Backtrack” and is a prominent supporter of the highly successful iProwd indigenous recruitment program.

The category winners and overall Police Officer of the Year will be announced at a special dinner on Friday, 4 November.

Breaking the Silence

• Condobolin may be a small town, but it has big plans to help break the silence on domestic violence with a powerful documentary highlighting the stories of local people.The premiere of ‘Little Towns, Big Voices’ was launched by activist, and former Labor Minister, Peter Garrett in Condobolin, last Thursday. The stark reality of the impact domestic violence has on families and communities was showcased in the confronting 28-minute film. It unflinchingly lets local residents share their harrowing experiences of domestic violence. ‘Little Towns, Big Voices’ was the brainchild of the Lachlan Domestic Violence Committee, and it is hoped that the film will be a step in decreasing domestic violence Australia wide. MB 

By Melissa Blewitt

Confronting. Harrowing. Raw. Honest. Unflinching. These are all words that could describe the powerful 28-minute documentary, ‘Little Towns, Big Voices.’
It tells of the stories of several victims, men and women, who have been victims or witnesses to domestic violence. The material is shocking and at times distressing. However, the main objectives of the film is to create change and promote action on domestic violence across Australia.
The documentary was launched by activist, and former Labor Minister, Peter Garrett at the Condobolin RSL Club last Thursday.
An interview with Mr Garrett became the documentary’s narration. He believed he was already involved in the cause, and was the father of three daughters.
Mr Garrett said while he had long been involved in anti-domestic violence campaigns, he was moved by the stories of those portrayed in the film.
“It’s really good to be out here seeing this community joining together to lift the covers off domestic violence, which has been an issue for far too long. It deserves to be seen by as many people as possible,” he said.
It is a project that is the brainchild of the Lachlan Domestic Violence Committee, and has taken over 10 years to bring to fruition.
The Domestic Violence (DV) group started a basket weaving class to help women relax, provide a safe place to talk and learn a new skill.
“The DV group also had men and women from the Work For the Dole program at the same time making White Ribbons for White Ribbon Day (25 November). During these programs we had a vision to create a film on domestic violence and the effects it has on women, families and children,” Senior Project Officer with Western Plains Regional Development said.
She added the DV group, in conjunction with project partners NSW Police, had seen the need to break the silence on domestic violence.
Unfortunately, the three Local Government Area within the LAC are all in the top 20 NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) rankings for the reporting of domestic assaults. Forbes is ranked at 11, Lachlan at 16 and Parkes at 17.
Superintendent Chris Taylor said Police would not resile from using all the tools that they have available to bring perpetrators of domestic violence to account for their actions.
“Congratulations to all those involved in the concept and production of this very worthwhile endeavour,” he said at the launch.
“It is an excellent production, which although made here in Condobolin, is not location specific but applies right across Australia and has relevance as an education tool.
“Nowhere is immune from domestic violence. I wish the Lachlan DV Committee all the best in their production of this resource.”
It is hoped that a major network will pick up the film and get the message into mainstream media. The DV Committee is now also in the process of having the film put through the Australian Teachers of Media for a study guide, which will then be able to be implemented into all schools PD/H/PE curriculum. This was made possible by donations from Aboriginal Strategic Direction Crime Prevention Grant, NSW Police Force; House With No Steps, Forbes, Forbes Evening CWA Branch and Bedgerebong CWA Branch.

Honouring courage, sacrifice and service

Members of the LAC saluting their fallen comrades at the Police Remembrance Day at St Joseph’s Catholic Church at Condobolin on Tuesday 29 September.

The Mayors of Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes attended the ceremony.

By Melissa Blewitt

Condobolin helped to honour the courage and sacrifice of fallen police officers at this year’s annual National Police Remembrance Day service for the Lachlan Local Area Command (LAC).

The service was held at Condobolin St Joseph’s Catholic Church on Tuesday, 29 September.

One of the most important events on the NSW Police Force calendar, National Police Remembrance Day (29 September), is one where police and the community remember those officers who have given their lives in the course of their duties. The solemn service remembered fallen officers from the NSW Police Force, and their comrades from throughout Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Solomon Islands.

LAC Superintendent Chris Taylor said National Police Rememberance Day is a day of great significance for policing. “Each September, families, loved ones, fellow officers and the wider community gather to remember those police officers who have lost their lives in the course of serving their community,” he said.

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