The Hume region is located in Victoria’s north east and covers 12 local government areas of Alpine, Benalla, Greater Shepparton, Indigo, Mansfield, Mitchell, Moira, Murrindindi, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta and Wodonga.
The region covers an area of 40,711 square kilometres, which is just over 18 per cent of the state, and has a total population of more than 280,000. This expansive region is 454 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne at its furthest point.
What's our role in crime prevention?
The region has a strong focus on addressing youth crime prevention and recidivism. We work closely with local councils and community organisations to deliver youth crime prevention projects, funded under the Department of Justice and Community Safety’s Community Crime Prevention Program.
In the Hume Region, our approach is collaborative, we listen to what our communities tell us, enabling us to provide place-based initiatives.
We facilitate a sharing of knowledge and resources across the region by bringing together stakeholders that are working with the same client group towards shared outcomes for these young people. Some of our key partners include, Youth Justice, Community Corrections Service, Victoria Police, local councils and community service providers.
What’s on in our region?
Save The Children OutTeach
This project was initially funded in 2016 through a Youth Crime Prevention Grant. The ongoing success of the program has led to further funding until 2021.
OutTeach works with a group of young people who are small in number, however the frequency and seriousness of their offending means the participants are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the youth crime in Greater Shepparton. Ninety per cent of young people participating in the program are Aboriginal.
Unique to this program is the capacity to maintain the service within the crisis – chaos cycle in which these young people exist, even during remand or custodial sentences. OutTeach interacts with young people through a mobile classroom operated from the back of a van and facilitated initially by a social worker, and later a teacher. The project is successfully decreasing known crime-related risk factors and increasing protective factors and connectedness with the community.
Preliminary data indicates participants:
- have improved engagement at school
- are returning to education
- are setting educational and employment goals
- have improved basic numeracy & literacy skills
- have enhanced communication and social skills
- have increased their attendance at Youth Justice appointments
According to a Youth Justice staff member, “OutTeach is the most successful educational program ever offered in the area that has voluntary participation of the cohort.”
This community partnership initiative is building connection to culture through the establishment of a bush garden in Wodonga. Funded under the Community Crime Prevention Program, the garden was established in June 2016 to provide cultural awareness training to young Aboriginal people aged between 10-16 years.
Prisoners from Beechworth correctional centre attend to work on the garden and participate in cultural strengthening activities. This is also a future community work site where Community Corrections Services offenders will also attend to maintain the garden.
Burraja runs a range of other cultural knowledge programs in the local area, and is an example of the sustainable partnerships we can form between the corrections environment and local community.
For more information visit www.burraja.com
Over the past two years, the Wodonga Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) has run a ‘Beyond Ice’ campaign to address the stigma of drug use as a means of encouraging people to seek help. Beyond Ice uses facts to fight the myths and misconceptions of problematic drugs, especially methamphetamine, and has driven a mature and respectful community conversation about problematic drug use. This has resulted in a shift in community attitudes about illicit and problematic drugs to reduce the negative labelling commonly directed towards people who use these, especially methamphetamine. It has also broadened the Wangaratta community’s understanding about the contributing factors that can lead to addiction.
In May 2018, the LDATs community conversation helped persuade the Victorian Government to commit to a thirty-bed residential drug rehabilitation facility at Wangaratta. This has been a relief for local families.
Regional contact information
The region delivers a range of services through Justice Service Centres in Wangaratta, Seymour, Shepparton and Wodonga and at outreach locations in Myrtleford, Benalla, Cobram, Mansfield and Corryong.
It is also home to two of the State’s prisons – the minimum security H.M. Prison Dhurringile and the minimum security Beechworth Correctional Centre.