Vic­tim Sup­port fam­ily meets

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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.

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