Now called MacSafe, MacDonnell Regional Council’s Community Safety program has transitioned from a Night Patrol program to a Community Safety Program. This transition represents the extent of delivery while better aligning with the direction of Council, community needs and funding bodies. As a part of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, MacSafe receives core funding from Prime Minister and Cabinet to deliver Community Safety services in 12 of Council’s remote communities. MacSafe also receives program specific funding from the Department of Health to deliver Alcohol Harm Reduction programs in three communities. Strong adherence to meeting funding key performance indicators, emphasis of staff development and community engagement through strength based stakeholder relationships MacSafe is able to deliver a robust reliable service.
MacSafe takes a proactive and preventative approach to divert Indigenous people away from contact with the criminal justice system, increase personal and community safety, and to improve school attendance by ensuring children are at home or in a safe location at night so they are ready and able to go to school every day. Staff work closely with families and young people in communities lacking funding from the Remote School Attendance Scheme and also work closely with Council’s Community Services Program, MacYouth, at nightly programming both to help improve school attendance. In addition to these core deliverables Community Safety teams: host community yarning circles at the MacSafe buildings; speak with residents on a regular basis about community safety issues; work closely with NT Police and assist with monthly Community Safety Meetings facilitated by NT Police.
Sports carnivals are a great source of pride in remote life and when community sports teams visit other remote communities our Community Safety staff travel to provide support and promote inter-community connections. MacSafe also works closely with AFLNT, NT Police and Talice Security to provide support when large numbers of remote residents travel into Alice Springs for football events.
MacSafe remote based teams are comprised of 99% experienced local Indigenous staff members. Many team members have been with the program for over five years and hold a respected status within their communities and throughout Central Australia. MacSafe places a large emphasis on staff development of staff by receiving on-going language, literacy and numeracy training, as well as assistance in completing the Certificate 3 in Community Night Patrol and Adaptive Leadership training.
The Little Red Threat Book
The Little Red Threat Book is a resource that addresses the issue of people using suicide as a threat.
In 2019, the Central Australian Life Promotion Network (LPN), a network under the auspices of MacDonnell Regional Council, received funding from the Northern Territory Government to organise, host and facilitate a Suicide Prevention Forum in Central Australia that would inform a revised version of the Little Red Threat Book. The LPN was established in 2017 as part of the Wesley Lifeforce network and is facilitated by the Mental Health Association of Central Australia (MHACA), MacDonnell Regional Council, Lifeline Central Australia, Australian Red Cross and the National Indigenous Australians Agency.
It can be accessed here: The Little Red Threat Book