Editorials & Comment It's My Opinion with Siobhan Casson

It’s My Opinion

Siobhan Casson

10th January 2019

I have a good feeling, personally and professionally, about this year. In truth, it can’t be any worse than the last 18 months.

Sadly, the new year got off to a terrible start for some residents of Halls Creek due to home invasions and burglaries. It is my understanding young people are alleged to be involved.

On this topic I continue to express the same opinion, that it is always important to look at the bigger picture. Two things I strongly believe are: it is not all young people; and it is too simplistic to say parents or guardians taking control is the only solution.

I have had several conversations in the last month about this ongoing question of youth crime and misbehaviour. There have been heated discussions on local social media about incidents which have taken place – and sometimes about solutions.

Since I came to Halls Creek 17 years ago nothing is different about the way service providers, consultants and researchers engage with Halls Creek residents on their ‘issues’. There is community meeting after community meeting. Sometimes long reports or actions plans are created. Sometimes programs are started but then stopped for lack of community engagement or strong outcomes.

What exactly is stopping service providers and community working together?

The brick wall is the same as it was 17 years ago when I arrived in Halls Creek on the Greyhound in the early hours of the morning, and the bus driver asked me ‘are you sure you are meant to get off here?’.

I can honestly say from the hundreds of meetings I have attended and the people I have spoken to that service providers want the community to get involved and the community wants to get involved. So why is the brick wall still too high and wide to get over, round or through?

There is no disagreement about the issues. Different opinions about the solutions are not the problem.

My suggestion is that the next big community meeting is about just one topic. The problem, and question, is the same for everyone – HOW do we do this?

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