Overview & Objectives

The Empowering Communities project, funded by the Department of Justice and Community Safety, supports the development of community designed and delivered initiatives to address local issues impacting on crime and perceptions of community safety.

The initiative aims to:

  • build the capability of the community to understand crime related issues and design and implement effective crime prevention approaches
  • strengthen relationships between community stakeholders to work in partnership to deliver crime prevention activity, and leverage community capacity to deliver sustainable outcomes beyond the funding period
  • engage and mobilise the community to address issues of local concern
  • build the evidence base for successful community development initiatives that address crime and safety issues.

Builder Safer Communities Brimbank Forum 2020

Supported by the Department, a forum was held in Brimbank to bring a range of stakeholders and young people together to consider the data and evidence of issues that impact on crime and perceptions of safety in the community and identify key themes that could be addressed through the Empowering Communities project.

Themes that emerged during the forum included:

  • youth boredom the need for safe and health spaces and activities for young people
  • young people’s experience of racism and its effect on getting a job
  • the desire for schools to facilitate and celebrate connection to culture
  • a strong sense of community pride held by young people in Brimbank

(522) Building Safer Communities Brimbank Forum - YouTube

Project Action Group

A key part of the initiative involves the establishment of an Action Group, which includes a diverse group of community stakeholders. The Action Group forms the decision-making body for approving the allocation of funds to activities to be delivered within the broader initiative. The Action Group consists of representatives from: The Youth Junction, Brimbank City Council, West Justice, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Victoria Police, Department of Justice and Community Safety, Department of Education and Training, AAFRO, IPC Health, Cohealth, Charis Mentoring, and local schools.

A key part of the initiative involves the establishment of an Action Group, which includes a diverse group of community stakeholders. The Action Group forms the decision-making body for approving the allocation of funds to activities to be delivered within the broader initiative.

The Action Group aims to maximise the life potential of young people in Brimbank by connecting and reconnecting them to culture, community, school, family, economy and reduce pathways into the youth justice system.

Following further community consultation in 2021, the Project Action Group is now working to identify projects or activities that it can support to achieve its goals and the broader program objectives.