Building Safer Communities forums will be held in 11 communities across Victoria where there are opportunities to tackle social challenges and crime and improve community safety.

Community forums have been held in Brimbank and Hume in late 2020 hearing from local young people about the challenges and personal safety issues they face. A forum was held in Melton in March 2021 on fostering community connections and inclusion to improve safety and perceptions of safety in Melton. In June 2021 a Ballarat forum was held on the safety of women, girls and gender diverse people in Ballarat’s public spaces. 

The most recent forum was held in September 2021 and focused on improving how safe and connected people feel in their communities. The forum was delivered by Neighbourhood Watch and Crime Stoppers Victoria, in partnership with the Department of Justice and Community Safety and the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

Further forums will be delivered in 2021 and 2022.

Each forum featured a Data Walk as a way of presenting local data and engaging attendees in a group discussion about their community. The findings from the Data Walk were then analysed by a panel, led by New York University for the first three forums, and shared back to the attendees. The involvement of NYU built on an expert partnership established to obtain advice and support on how innovative approaches to community development could apply in Victoria 

Attendees included the Minister for Crime Prevention, local young people, local council, community agencies supporting young people, school leaders, key state government departments, Victoria Police, Crime Stoppers and Neighbourhood Watch Victoria.

Find out more about each forum below and watch a video outlining the key themes from each forum.

Brimbank

The Brimbank forum was delivered online in partnership with Youth Junction, Brimbank City Council.

Craigieburn

The Craigieburn forum partnered with Banksia Gardens and Hume City council.

Melton

The Melton forum partnered with Melton City Council and focused on fostering community connections and inclusion in Melton to improve safety and perceptions of safety.

Ballarat

The Ballarat forum partnered with Ballarat City Council, Women’s Health Grampians and Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre and focused on women’s, girls’, and gender diverse people’s safety in Ballarat’s public spaces.