Neighbourhood Watch State Awards

The Neighbourhood Watch State Awards recognise the outstanding work, service and contributions made to further the aims and objectives and live the values of Neighbourhood Watch Victoria.

The 2019 Awards were presented at our State Awards Annual Dinner on Thursday 10 October.

Induction into the Neighbourhood Watch Hall of Fame

Graeme Elder – Neighbourhood Watch Whitehorse

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Graeme Elder joined NHW in July 1998 as a resident of Mont Albert North. From an early stage he took up an office-bearer position in his local Area being the Newsletter Editor, Secretary, Treasurer and Area Manager separately and then in some cases concurrently.

He became involved in NHW at the Local Government level in the early 2000s and became the Chair of NHW Whitehorse in 2010.  He filled this role until about 2015. In that period he oversaw the development and implementation of a wide-ranging and very successful crime prevention program throughout the municipality.

In about 2006 Graeme became involved in the management of NHW at the Divisional level which culminated with him becoming the Divisional President in 2009. He remained in that position until the Victoria Police stopped running NHW in 2011. At that time, he oversaw the restructure of NHW in the Division in an equitable manner into four separate Local Government NHW groups.

Graeme was elected to the Board of NHW Victoria in October 2012. At the first meeting of the new Board he was elected as Secretary and Public Officer of NHW Victoria. He prepared the NHW Financial Reporting procedures and the NHW Risk Management Policy. He was the Secretary of the Honours and Awards Committee and managed the annual process to prepare and obtain the Public Liability and Directors Insurance Policy, and the Volunteer Accident Insurance Policy.

At the same time as this was happening, Graeme was driving the establishment of the Whitehorse Community Support Register which came into operation in 2014. The register supports elderly or sick residents of Whitehorse by checking on them regularly to ensure that they are alright. If Register caller doesn’t get a response when they ring the resident, they invoke emergency procedures to check on the welfare of the person.

During and since his illness late in 2014, Graeme has remained actively involved in the NHW Board activities ranging from authorising bank account payments to suppliers, through commenting on various proposals, to preparing guidance notes on some of his former tasks such as managing the NHW insurance policies. It was noted that when Graeme was flat on his back in hospital during his illness he still managed to use his laptop and keep up with many of his duties.

Most recently and by far one of the most significant and far-reaching tasks he has undertaken, Graeme was deeply involved in the investigation, identification and documentation of the restructure of NHW in Victoria. This was required to ensure that NHW complied with changes to State legislation on the operation of incorporated associations. This ended up being a three year process that many other people would have abandoned well before reaching the conclusion.

Over all of Graeme’s involvement in NHW he has always made himself available to provide advice and guidance to his colleagues and many friends in NHW. Nothing is too much trouble and any advice that he gives is both considered and practical. His role as a sounding board for ideas or approaches to issues was frequently called upon and the outcomes obtained were better as a result.

Unfortunately, the time has come when both Graeme’s body and his doctors are telling him that he must take it easy and put his feet up.

Graeme’s NHW colleagues wish him well for the future and Induct Graeme Elder into the NHW Hall of Fame, only the fifth person in the history of NHW Victoria to receive this honour.

State Award of Honour

For outstanding and exemplary service to the Neighbourhood Watch program by a  member of Neighbourhood Watch or Victoria Police.

Joan Bungar - Neighbourhood Watch Monash

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Joan is a member of the NHW group’s Media Team and the editor of their monthly e-News which is distributed widely across the LGA. She is a motivator for many of the activities in the NHW.

Recently, Joan was responsible for initiating the quite novel "Ask for Angela" program within Monash.  This campaign  will  help  women  and  men  meeting  an  online  date  to  make  a  quick  and  quiet escape if they feel unsafe during the encounter. They just have to ask for Angela at the bar or cashier and staff will escort them out through a back exit, and ensure they are safely off. Then, staff will inform the other party that their date has left.

Joan has been a member NHW Monash for about 10 years.

Sandra Burman - Neighbourhood Watch Greater Dandenong

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Sandra was a foundation member of NHW in the Dandenong area starting back in 1987. For 25 years she was the Treasurer of her local group and in this role was heavily involved in fund-raising to finance their activities such as the purchase of engravers, street signs and the like. After her local group closed in 2012 she transferred her energies to supporting the work of the NHW Greater Dandenong wherever she was needed.

In addition to her long and faithful service to NHW, Sandra has been heavily involved in other community activities including Dandenong North Kindergarten, Buckly Ridges Cricket Club, being a Cub Scout leader, having a support role at the Dandenong Show and the Ladies Probus Club.

Bob Harris – Neighbourhood Watch Banyule

Bob has worked as an office-bearer both in his local NHW group and in NHW Banyule. He is a large contributor at most of the Banyule activities and has responsibility for maintaining the group’s trailer and its contents. He also manages the Safe Plate Project within Banyule both in terms of the issue of packs of one-way screws from the local Police Stations and the Safe Plate events themselves. More recently he has managed the project to supply personal alarms to local residents.

Bob has a long history of voluntary involvement with community groups and sporting clubs. For many years he has been a voluntary bus driver for the Banyule Council to support their Aged Care Program. He has been a member of NHW for about 10 years.

Kevin Marshall – Neighbourhood Watch Airport West

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Kevin has been described as a quiet achiever who has spent his 12-year NHW career managing a number of local NHW groups as well as being Treasurer at the Local Government level. His role in the Management Team became more critical with the passing of several Chairpersons of the NHW Moonee Valley. It was in this role that he guided the LGA through the incorporation process. Kevin is actively involved in many of the local NHW projects and has encouraged some of the older members of the community to stay active by taking part in NHW projects.

Beyond NHW, Kevin established the East Keilor Sustainability Street Community Garden in 2004. He has also worked for 10 years as a voluntary driver for the Council community bus which takes residents to and from meeting of the senior Italian Women’s Group meetings.

Kelvin Mather – Neighbourhood Watch Manningham

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Kelvin joined NHW in 1995 and in his early years, he was extensively involved in the local activities as well as distributing newsletters in his local area. He progressively expanded his involvement by becoming the Area Manager of MNH 017 and subsequently handling the newsletter distribution for a large part of Sector 4, an area of some 5,000 homes.

For the last six years or so Kelvin has also managed the NHW involvement in the Manningham Council Citizenship Ceremonies (which occur about every six weeks) including the organisation of volunteer rosters, and the supply of all equipment and marketing material. Over that time the standing of NHW has increased at these ceremonies and is now always included in the Mayor’s "Welcome to New Australians" speech.

Outside NHW, Kelvin is an established artist and for many years has been heavily involved in several Artists’ Societies.

Maureen Paliew – Neighbourhood Watch Stratford and District

Maureen was a foundation member of the Stratford and District NHW. In the 29 years of the group’s operation, she has filled most of the office-bearer positions at one stage or another. As Newsletter Editor and Publicity Officer she has been instrumental in getting crime prevention information to the local community. As well as the normal NHW activities, Maureen has worked closely with the local schools promoting bike education and other safety activities such as introducing Police presentations to school children .

In 2018, Maureen won the Stratford Lions Club Event of the Year for the Community Safety Day/Emergency Expo that she solely organised involving all the emergency agencies that operate in the town. The event involved the arranging the equipment, vehicles and personnel from the various agencies. She is noted for her tireless dedication and commitment to NHW and her local community.

Beryl Read – Neighbourhood Watch Winchelsea

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Beryl Read is a valued and respected volunteer with NHW Winchelsea since the inception of the group 27 years ago. Beryl has held the position of Secretary of the group for the past 17 years. Beryl is heavily involved in the planning and co-ordination of the Winchelsea Police and Neighbourhood Watch Good Neighbour School’s Day, an annual event that brings together more than 700 students from six or seven schools in the rural districts surrounding Winchelsea. This huge event connects younger and older community members and provides opportunity for students to gain an understanding of community safety and raises awareness of Neighbourhood Watch and its role in the community.

Beryl also contributes to the local Winchelsea community as a member of the Bowls Club, Probus Club and the Senior Citizens Club.

Kevin Tse – Neighbourhood Watch Monash

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Kevin is a leader in the NHW Monash Media group which is responsible for publishing the monthly e-News, managing the Facebook page and the group’s website. This includes re-developing the website to make to make it more user friendly, up to date and mobile friendly. He has shown great initiative in sourcing material and articles, and in assessing the suitability of material.

Kevin has shown exceptional dedication to NHW as a young person, involved and committed to volunteering.

Dawn Vernon – Neighbourhood Watch Greater Dandenong

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Dawn has been the President of NHW Greater Dandenong for ten years, having started in the Noble Park NHW many years before.  She is a strong advocate for NHW and her hard work and effort have been recognised by the local Police with a Citizen Commendation.  She is heavily involved in a range of NHW activities and has instigated a series of interesting quarterly forums on crime prevention and community safety topics.  These forums are advertised well beyond the local area.

For the last ten years Dawn has been a member the Community Safety Advisory Board of Greater Dandenong where she provides advice on programs which improve the lives of residents throughout the municipality.  She is also a strong and enthusiastic supporter of activities organised by NHW Victoria.

State Award of Appreciation

For outstanding support of the Neighbourhood Watch program by an individual, business or company that is not a member of Neighbourhood Watch.

Hudson Bond – Manningham (represented by Paul Kounnas: Director)

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Hudson Bond is a real estate agent in Manningham.  Since March 2013, the company has supplied the printed headed paper for the newsletters produced by Manningham NHW.  These newsletters are now distributed by our volunteers every two months to about 28,000 homes in our area, which house over 70% of the population of the municipality.

It is estimated that so far, Hudson Bond has supplied about 1.2 million printed sheets of the headed paper for the NHW newsletters.  Without the support of Hudson Bond, the cost of producing the newsletters would have been prohibitive, and Manningham NHW would have lost an important means of educating members of the community on crime prevention.