TASState RecipientLocal Hero2011
As a member of the Tasmania Police Early Intervention & Youth Action Unit, Senior Constable Ian Edwards has helped transform his local community of Shorewell Park. Prior to 2008 the community had a number of challenges to face. A large number of its residents are in long-term unemployment and low school attendance was common in children of all ages, coupled with a high rate of anti-social behaviour. Although it is only a small community of 900 families, Shorewell Park was struggling. After being encouraged by a local MP to think about what he might do to help the children of the area, Ian set up Kommunity Kids. Through sheer hard work and conviction, Ian has created a safe and accepting environment that today attracts up to 200 children, with 50 on a regular basis. Positive friendships between the children are encouraged to develop alongside constructive relationships with police and youth and family service providers. As it receives no official funding, Kommunity Kids relies on donations from the community and Ian and his fellow police officers have dug into their own pockets to keep the program alive. Under Ian’s guidance the program has been successful in creating trust between troubled children, their parents and the police.