Carolyn Ramsay, School Transition Officer at Cunnamulla P-12 State School, and Laurie Bateman, Police Liaison Officer, attended the 2018 Australian Crime & Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA) at Parliament House in Canberra last Thursday 29th November to accept a Bronze Award for the Blue Light Shearing project.
The Blue Light Shearing project was one of twelve winners from 48 finalists. A joint Australian government, state and territory initiative, the ACVP Awards are coordinated by the Australian Institute of Criminology and recognise police and community-led projects from across the nation.
Approximately three years ago PLO Bateman, who has over 28 years experience as a shearer, started teaching the skill to young vulnerable people In Cunnamulla to curb and prevent offending behaviour. From these humble beginnings the program has evolved.
The Blue Light Shearing project commenced in 2017 with the partnerships between Cunnamulla P-12 State School, the local Police Liaison Officer, QPS and Queensland Blue Light.
The program provides students with an opportunity to develop future employment opportunities, create a better mindset, build a strong work ethic, and learn how to work in a team while exposed to a work environment. Students work towards completing a Certificate II in Rural Operations which provides credit towards their QCE.
Led by program coordinator, Carolyn Ramsay, the project expanded in 2018 to include students from Charleville and St George. Other stakeholders who have assisted with the program since inception include SkillCentred, Australian Wool Innovations (AWI), RAPAD Employment Services/RESQ, UQ Gatton Vocational Education Centre and various trainers as well as a number of wool growers within the Cunnamulla and surrounding districts who have provided their facilities and sheep for the program.
The project was also a recipient of a Silver Award for Innovation at the 2018 Queensland Police Service Awards for Excellence in August.