Victim Support family meets
Wakatipu and Central Otago representatives of Victim Support attended a special function in Parliament, marking the 30th anniversary of the organisation.
Wakatipu chairwoman Fae Robertson said it was a wonderful opportunity to meet up with founders of the organisation and current volunteers.
‘‘They are very much like a family,’’ she said.
A member herself since 1996, she said the main work for the nine volunteers (another two are pending) in Queenstown was around sudden deaths, accidents and house fires. In Central Otago the organisation has 17 members.
Bereavements involving international visitors had become a large part of their work, and they had recently taken over the night shift dealing with family violence from organisation Jigsaw.
The event was hosted by Justice Minister Amy Adams.
The first independent Victim Support group was founded by policeman Kevin Joblin in Gisborne in 1986.
Joblin was working with offenders every day but surprised to learn there was no comprehensive support available for victims after a crime or trauma through the long and complex justice process.
Today, Victim Support is one national organisation with 61 offices in police stations all around the country, and a team of 120 staff and 600 volunteers.
Central Otago secretary Dianne Elliot, Invercargill chair Bruce Hatcher, Central Otago chair Judy Elliot-Hall and Wakatipu chair Fae Robertson.