McVicar to speak at RSA

Matamata Chronicle - - Out And About - ABBY BROWN

Garth McVicar of the Sen­si­ble Sen­tenc­ing Trust is un­der­tak­ing a New Zealand wide ‘Tour of Duty’, which in­cludes a stop at Mata­mata’s RSA.

He has been to the area be­fore and said the tour was his way of thank­ing the pub­lic for their sup­port since the trust started.

‘‘I will be talk­ing about what we have achieved and what we hope to achieve,’’ he said.

The group has helped force changes through sen­tence and bail re­forms.

He also knew that to be an ef­fi­cient lobby group they couldn’t just talk to politi­cians but also had to get out and talk to the pub­lic.

As part of the trust’s 18 month cam- paign on ex­pos­ing and re­duc­ing the hor­rific level of sex­ual abuse of chil­dren, which the group was now fo­cus­ing on, McVicar will talk on June 15 at 5.30pm.

He said he was quite ‘‘green’’ about how much of a prob­lem this was in New Zealand un­til vic­tims started ap­proach­ing the trust for help.

Garth and Anne McVicar es­tab­lished the trust in 2001 as a re­sponse to their con­cerns about es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lent crime and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing so­cial stan­dards.

The Trust was named 2006 Trust of the year. In 2008 Ro­tary hon­oured Garth with the Paul Har­ris Fel­low­ship award and he was also awarded Toast­mas­ter of the year. More re­cently Garth was a fi­nal­ist for New Zealan­der of the year and named as one of the most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple in the coun­try.

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