Safer Suburbs Awards

2019 Safer Suburbs Award winners and nominees

Safer suburbs create stronger and more connected communities. Keeping our city safe is everyone's responsibility – let's all become safety ambassadors by:

  • educating our children
  • protecting vulnerable people
  • building local awareness
  • reporting anything we may feel is crime related.

The next Safer Suburbs Awards Program will be held in 2021 with more information to come soon.

These biennial awards recognise outstanding safety initiatives happening in our city and the individuals and organisations who work to make our city safer.

There are four award categories:

  • individual
  • not-for-profit group
  • business
  • project.

A meritorious award is also presented to one nominee who demonstrates special merit.

2019 Safer Suburbs Award Winners

The city's most outstanding individuals and organisations, working tirelessly to create a safe and connected community, were acknowledged at the City's biennial Safer Suburbs Awards ceremony on 22 October 2019.

Mayor Tom Tate said the Awards honoured the people with true community spirit, who were committed to making our city more safe and connected.

“We had 23 nominations and every entrant is making a genuine difference to the safety of our city,” he said.

“These awards highlight the incredible work within our community to make the Gold Coast the safest place to live, work, play and raise a family.”

All nominees and winners were invited to the stage and presented with certificates by Mayor Tom Tate and Assistant Commissioner Brian Wilkins.

The 2019 Safer Suburbs Awards winners are:

Not-for-profit – RizeUp Australia

Not-for-profit – RizeUp Australia

RizeUp Australia provides practical and positive support for families experiencing domestic and family violence. Their support includes providing items to create a comfortable new home for families, school essentials including uniforms, and through their partnerships with other organisations, they arrange experience days for Gold Coast families to enjoy.

Individual – Kathleen Vlasic

Individual – Kathleen Vlasic

Coordinator of Rosies drop-in centre at Southport, Kathleen supports our most vulnerable residents by arranging everything from food donations and meals, to haircuts. Kathleen also coordinates the daytime and evening outreach support program for Rosies.

Business – Halcyon

Business – Halcyon

Halcyon was instrumental in the creation of a new bridging accommodation facility in the northern Gold Coast for families affected by domestic and family violence. The project is the first of its kind, with Halcyon collaborating with local organisations and stakeholders to deliver a facility that offers a safe environment for families.

Project – First Drinks: First Impressions

Project – First Drinks: First Impressions

An initiative of the Queensland Police Service, this project is conducted on Friday and Saturday nights in the Surfers Paradise entertainment precinct. It involves breathalysing precinct visitors and providing them with feedback regarding their blood alcohol content. Evaluation indicates the project has contributed to a significant reduction in assault rates and fewer victims of crime.

Meritorious Award – Street C.R.E.D

Meritorious Award – Street C.R.E.D

Street C.R.E.D (collaborate, re-engage, empower and deter) led by the Queensland Police Service in collaboration with government and non-government services, builds positive relationships with young people who may be experiencing homelessness or engaging in antisocial behaviour.

The weekly program aims to connect young people with services that provide health and wellbeing support and to assist them to re-engage in education or employment pathways.

Previous Safer Suburbs Awards winners

Below is a list of our winners from previous years within their respective categories.

Not-for-profit

Year Awardee Achievements
2017 Gold Coast Community Legal Centre This centre provides free legal advice to those who need assistance with legal matters. Without the centre, many would struggle to pay for legal advice, attempt to manoeuvre through the legal system on their own or have the matter go unresolved.
2015 Southern Gold Coast 60 & Better Program The Southern Gold Coast 60 & Better Program commenced in 1994 under the auspice of the Palm Beach Currumbin Lions Club. The organisation's motto, 'Keeping Active and Staying Connected', informs its core vision and objective of identifying and developing ways to help seniors improve their quality of life, including community safety.
2013 Burleigh Heads Police Community Consultative Committee (CCC) The Burleigh Heads CCC formed in 2009 in response to community concerns about crime in the area. The Committee has contributed positively to many collaborative initiatives between the Queensland Police Service and the local community. The work of the committee has been highly valuable in bonding the community, police and local groups, and undertaking meaningful crime reduction activities.
2011 Broadbeach Alliance Limited Broadbeach Alliance consistently works strategically and in conjunction with lead agencies and stakeholders in a variety of ways to ensure safety and security in the Broadbeach precinct is always at the highest possible standard. Activities include organising and managing the safety and security elements at major events and festivals throughout the precinct, to conducting monthly precinct security meetings with key stakeholders to identify joint responses.
2009 Gold Coast Volunteers In Policing The Volunteer's In Policing (VIP) program has been running in the Gold Coast Police District for more than 11 years. The 53 VIP members in 2008 contributed 10,279 hours to help police throughout the city. They helped police officers protect lives and property through a range of projects, ranging from community education to presentations, security audits, shopping centre displays and letterbox drops. Other projects were aimed at specific issues, such as promoting security in pharmacies, deterring car thieves and armed hold up debriefings.
2007 Churches of Christ Care This not-for-profit organisation runs an Older Persons Action Program named Safe and Confident Living, focusing on increasing social participation and connectedness of older people in our community. This is done through teaching personal and community safety strategies, providing a support service responding to social issues which affect older people, and protecting and promoting the well being of our older residents through reducing their concerns about safety and security.
Group Category – Gold Coast Volunteers In Policing This group is made up of 36 volunteers, who perform a range of duties that enhance existing police and community services by forging strong working partnerships between the police and local community. These volunteers carry out a wide range of community support and educational activities including conducting security audits, educational shopping centre displays, property engraving, letterbox drops, and provision of assistance in police stations. Projects they have recently been involved in include Homelink, Screening Out High Rise Crime, and TARP – The At Risk Premises project.
Program Category – The Mercury Project The winner of this category is a project run for 14 to 17 year olds in the Beenleigh/Eagleby area. This community safety program has been running for two years, and offers the young people involved an opportunity for personal development and community involvement though designing and undertaking local crime reduction activities. To date the project has involved production of community resources with crime reduction themes, and capital works on local sights to improve lighting and safety for the wider community. This project is run by the Beenleigh Adult and Youth Service's BAYS.
2005 School Category – Elanora State High School Elanora State High has contributed to enhancing community safety on the Gold Coast through its surfing and surf lifesaving programs. The school currently has 40 senior students undertaking these sports as school subjects. Over recent years, many students have obtained first aid and resuscitation certificates as well as bronze medallions and have volunteered their services through a variety of community activities. The award was collected by Tony Rapallo (Head of Physical Education) and Mark Witten (surf life saving teacher).
Group Category – Nerang 2 Neighbourhood Watch This Neighbourhood Watch group has worked tirelessly to enhance the environment in their local area. The group's efforts include the coordination of public area improvements, community functions, seminars and information nights. The group has formed important links with community groups including Queensland Police, Environmental Protection Agency, Queensland Transport and Gold Coast City Council. Door to door volunteers take the time to personally deliver regular newsletters. The group fosters a sense of belonging and community spirit in the Boonooroo Park area. The award was collected by Wendy Coleman.
Program Category – SAILS Sails is a water based activity program that teaches young people sailing skills, kayaking and powerboat activities. The group, run solely by volunteers, offers overnight (land and boat) camping trips. The program provides a central focus so that staff can connect with youth and have discussions about self-esteem, their outlook on life and youth issues. The award was collected by Mr Russel McClue.
Organisation Category – Kirra Surf Life Saving Club This club's determination to ensure the safety of bathers was highlighted by its introduction of a secondary patrol area. The surf club also was integral to the restriction of spear fishing on the Kirra reef, and recently accommodated and trained 22 members of a 10 day Taiwanese Surf Life Saving educational tour. The award was collected by Kerrie Barnes.
School Category – Elanora State High School Elanora State High has contributed to enhancing community safety on the Gold Coast through its surfing and surf lifesaving programs. The school currently has 40 senior students undertaking these sports as school subjects. Over recent years, many students have obtained first aid and resuscitation certificates as well as bronze medallions and have volunteered their services through a variety of community activities. The award was collected by Tony Rapallo (Head of Physical Education) and Mark Witten (surf life saving teacher).

Individual

Year Awardee Achievements
2017 Acting Sergeant Tracey Clouston Acting Sergeant Clouston is Secretary for Crime Stoppers Coolangatta-Tweed, has worked with Police Citizens Youth Clubs to create a homeless youth crisis centre network, and successfully obtained a grant for free fitness classes for young people.
2015 Roberta Cava Roberta Cava was the driving force behind the establishment of Crime Stoppers Northern Gold Coast Volunteer Area Committee which covers Nerang, Pacific Pines, Coomera, Upper Coomera and Runaway Bay. The Committee was founded in response to an increasing population. Roberta has partnered with local businesses to obtain much needed resources and equipment for use at local events. Roberta shares important safety messaging with the community via social media, newsletters, and email updates.
2013 Jean Greatbanks Jean has been instrumental in leading projects that improve community safety. She volunteers her time to work with the Gold Coast Volunteers In Policing (VIP) and the Runaway Bay 3 Neighbourhood Watch group. During her 10 years as a VIP, Jean has introduced the Homelink program, acted as seniors' liaison, coordinated many community events and organised training sessions for other VIPs.
2011 Catherine Booth Catherine Booth was nominated for her outstanding commitment to the graffiti prevention initiative, ArtBox. Since 2008, Catherine has volunteered over 280 hours to paint traffic signal boxes across the city. She has also painted numerous other assets, contributed to the Council's Graffiti Prevention DVD, painted murals for local business and not for profit organisations and facilitated Youth Week's Horror Makeup Workshops and children's art workshops through Evolve.
2009 Dominique Lummus This winner was nominated because of her outstanding commitment to the Neighbourhood Watch program. Since Dominique became the Oxenford Neighbourhood Watch group Area Coordinator in August 2008, the group has launched a website and email information system which has encouraged the community to tackle local problems and work together on crime prevention. The increased communication and information sharing has provided valuable information for numerous police investigations. Dominique has also helped other Neighbourhood Watch groups, and contributes about 8-10 hours each week towards improving community safety.
2005 Mary Amos Mary Amos has been a tireless and dedicated volunteer in policing. She has participated in police door knocks, police displays in shopping centres and at the Gold Coast and Mudgeeraba Shows, volunteered for Operation Bounce Back car audits and contributed to the gruelling task of the chill out schoolies zone for four years.

Business

Year Awardee Achievements
2017 Men of Business (MOB) In the last 6 years, MOB has supported around 1000 ‘at risk’ young men through an eight-week mentoring program. The young men learn trust, communication, anger management, and how to deal with emotions on their journey to adulthood.
2015 Cross Cultural Liaison Unit, Gold Coast Police District The Cross Cultural Liaison Unit was established in 2014 to enhance safety awareness for the multicultural community. This includes 'Safety Information Sessions' to more than 2800 international students and building relationships between police and young refugees through sporting activities. The Unit works with government and non-government services across the city.
2013 Gold Coast Suns The Horizons Program run by the Gold Coast Suns focuses on 3 activity areas of social responsibility and involves a range of projects and activities that improve community safety. Youth homelessness and domestic violence awareness are key priorities. The Gold Coast Suns program has also focused on the rapidly expanding northern region of the city, partnering with service providers and raising funds through projects and events such as the White Christmas Charity Event and Coomera Family Fun Day.
2011 @wecare Child Care This business has provided valuable support to local crime prevention initiatives by educating children under school age about important safety issues (e.g. road safety skills, protective behaviours, self care). @wecare takes a proactive approach to delivering these messages to children, to safeguard them within the preschool environment, at both home and within the community.
2009 South Coast Automotive Group This business provides valuable support to local crime prevention initiatives by generously providing a vehicle for use by the Gold Coast Crime Stoppers Committee and Police Volunteers. This enables these groups to attend many community events to promote community safety and crime prevention and raise awareness among residents, which helps enhance the safety of the city. The vehicle has also greatly helped to promote the Crime Stoppers program in the community and encourage reporting.

Project

Year Awardee Achievements
2017 SAVE 2017 Over 250 senior students from 3 schools attended a major event presented by state and local government representatives, and private organisations to learn about safety on the road, at the beach and during natural disasters.
2015 Cyber Crime & Fraud Forum, Gold Coast District Neighbourhood Watch Gold Coast District Neighbourhood Watch was established to provide leadership and stewardship to more than 50 Neighbourhood Watch groups. One of their priorities is to teach elderly residents to better understand how evolving technology might threaten their personal security. The group hosted a free Cyber Crime and Fraud Forum for 100 residents with presentations from experts in technology, criminology and scam identification.
2013 Helping Youth At Risk (HYAR) This is an early intervention program run by the Ashmore PCYC for young people. The program is available for young people who have disengaged from the education system and may be at risk of anti-social behaviour or crime. Since its implementation in February 2012 the program has supported over 200 young people to assist them to re-engage in school while feeling capable, responsible and motivated. There has been a dramatic improvement in the behaviour of participants in the program.
2011 Skate Park Watch – Elanora Skate Bowl This project is aimed at improving community safety at the Elanora Skate Bowl. The Skate Park Watch Committee provides a mechanism for fast response to issues of graffiti and vandalism. The Committee also provides regular feedback to Council and liaises with organisations requesting to use the skate park to run major skateboard and BMX events. Incidents of anti-social behaviour and calls for police service have decreased significantly since the inception of Skate Park Watch.
2009 The Surfers Paradise Inter-venue Radio Communication Network This project is aimed at improving community safety in the Surfers Paradise nightclub precinct. The project connects participating licensed premises by digital radio and helps detect and identify potential safety issues. The radios are linked to Council's Safety Camera Network, so potential incidents can be reported and the police called for quick response. The network was launched in July 2009, and has already been responsible for a number of individuals being apprehended for criminal offences. This project is run by the Surfers Paradise Licensed Venues Association, with support from Queensland Police Service and Gold Coast City Council.

Meritorious Award

Year Awardee Achievements
2017 Mr Allan Howard Mr Howard was awarded for his outstanding commitment and dedication to the Neighbourhood Watch program. He has been integral in promoting important safety messages through a number of initiatives including Fraud and Cyber Crime Forums and a Disaster Survival Forum. He also participates in the Youth Justice conferences and the City of Gold Coast's Volunteer Graffiti Removal Program.
2015 Let's Support You Support Your Community – Domestic Violence Awareness Training Domestic violence is a key concern on the Gold Coast, with Southport Magistrates Court the busiest in Queensland. The Queensland Police Service is working with culturally and linguistically diverse community leaders to develop and deliver domestic violence awareness training for their respective communities. A number of key partners are involved in the initiative: Gold Coast Police District, Cross Cultural Liaison Unit; Domestic Violence Prevention Centre; Relationships Australia; Department of Social Services; Department of Human Services; Multicultural Families Organisation; Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast; and The Migrant Centre.
2013 Surfers Paradise Anglican Crisis Care (SPACC) Surfers Paradise Anglican Crisis Care has been in operation for 32 years at St John's Anglican Church in Surfers Paradise. Through the Drop In Centre, 524,772 free meals have been served to vulnerable, disadvantaged and homeless clients. Food vouchers, groceries, bus fares, clothing and blankets, showers, toilets and laundry facilities have also been provided. The service's ‘Chat and Chew’ evening provides clients with an opportunity to come into the centre for a healthy meal and social activities.
2011 Runaway Bay 3 Neighbourhood Watch Established since 1992, Runaway Bay 3 Neighbourhood Watch has worked hard to provide a range of holistic and partnership initiatives to build better relationships with agencies and the people who work and live within the area. They are constantly seeking ways to improve community safety and work in partnership with others, through family fun days, welcome packs for new residents and activities such as free CPR Training.
2009 Kevin Folkes The Meritorious Award is presented to an outstanding entrant in any category, who did not receive a category award. This year's award went to Kevin Folkes of the Palm Beach Community Health Centre. He is committed to improving community safety throughout the city by providing health support services at the Palm Beach Community Health Centre. Mr Folkes' work has included extensive support for drug dependent people, including help in finding suitable rehabilitation services, managing a needle and syringe program, promoting the clean needle helpline and educating the wider community on alcohol and drugs.
2007 Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club The meritorious award is for an outstanding entrant in any category, who did not receive a category award. This not for profit community organisation is made up of over 140 volunteers who are dedicated to protecting members of the public who surf and swim at the beach. This organisation was established in 1958, and patrol Coolangatta beach every weekend and public holiday from September to May each year. With 2007 being the Year of the Life Saver, it is particularly relevant to acknowledge the hard work of this organisation.
2005 Brian Currant The meritorious award is for an outstanding entrant in any category, who did not receive a category award. Mr Currant has been involved with the Rocky Point Rural Fire Brigade for more than 20 years and is now its leader. He gives selflessly of his time in training members and ensuring the community is safe in fire situations, including assistance in interstate operations. He also gives his time to raise money for the brigade.

Other categories

Year Awardee Achievements
2009 Early bird prizes Nominations received early went into a draw for one of three $50 Harvey Norman vouchers. The lucky winners were:
  • Crime Stoppers South East Qld Region
  • Transformation Ministries
  • Phil and Doreen Barnes
2007 Early bird prizes Nominations received early went into a draw for one of five $50 Harvey Norman vouchers. The lucky winners were:
  • Broadbeach Marketing
  • Yatala Neighbourhood Watch
  • Melba's on the Park
  • Bravehearts
  • Churches of Christ Care

More information

For further information please contact our Safe and Liveable Communities Branch on 07 5581 6642, or email communitysafety@goldcoast.qld.gov.au.