Packed house for cri­sis ser­vice meet­ing

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

IT WAS a packed house for Tues­day’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing of the Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice (WCCS), with mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, lo­cal po­lice force and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments all tak­ing time to at­tend.

Key guest speak­ers in­cluded fed­eral mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen, who ad­dressed some of the most press­ing is­sues the or­gan­i­sa­tion now faces – fund­ing and red tape.

Mr Chris­tensen said the new Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment would be mak­ing it eas­ier for not-for-profit and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions to op­er­ate with less red tape “so that less time is wasted do­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion and more time is en­gaged in do­ing what you do best and that is help­ing the com­mu­nity”.

Mr Chris­tensen also spoke about the need to find fund­ing for es­sen­tial pro­grams and his own de­sire to see fund­ing al­lo­ca­tions ex­tended in length.

His com­ments were wel­comed by WCCS out­go­ing trea­surer Joan Collings who said “we seem to be for­ever re­new­ing agree­ments at dif­fer­ent times of the year and noth­ing can ever be co-or­di­nated”.

Mr Chris­tensen praised the or­gan­i­sa­tion for its ded­i­ca­tion, hard work and the suc­cess of pro­grams such as the school-age healthy re­la­tion­ships ini­tia­tive ‘Love Bites’.

“The work you’re do­ing – right across the Whit­sun­days – it is some­thing that with­out this ser­vice there would be a real gap in the com­mu­nity so I re­ally want to praise you for the ef­forts that you put in, day in, day out,” he said.

WCCS CEO Car­men Bekker said the or­gan­i­sa­tion ap­peared to be mak­ing a real dif­fer­ence to the area and was a unique re­sponse in a ru­ral set­ting.

“I think we have be­come part of the wider com­mu­nity and I hope that some of the work we’re do­ing is bring­ing that com­mu­nity to­gether as well,” she said.

WCCS works to­wards the preven­tion and re­duc­tion of vi­o­lence in the com­mu­nity by pro­vid­ing pro­fes­sional ser­vices to women, chil­dren, young peo­ple and fam­i­lies who have ex­pe­ri­enced fam­ily vi­o­lence, sex­ual as­sault or are at risk of abuse or ne­glect.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the ser­vice, phone 4946 2999 or email re­cep­tion@whit­sun­day­

TEAM­WORK: WCCS com­mit­tee mem­bers and staff from back to front: Sue Man­they, Joan Collings, Leesa Groom, Linda Tre­visi, Suzette Pelt, Pip Ed­wards, Ter­sia Mou­ton, Mandy Coles, Les­ley Pratch­ett, Maryann Owen, Isa Stein­hauer, Jan Waet­ford, PJ Hal­ter, Poppy An­n­ear, He­len Toy and Car­men Bekker, at Tues­day's AGM.

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