Hume’s Safe Community status comes of age

Hume is celebrating 21 years of being an internationally accredited Safe Community this year, which makes it Australia’s longest serving Safe Community and the fourth longest serving in the world, outside of Sweden.

Originally the Shire of Bulla was accredited in 1994. Following council amalgamations in 1994, Hume City Council (which now included the Shire of Bulla) was first reaccredited in 1996. Hume has successfully undergone several reaccreditation applications since then.

Hume Community Development Officer Cara Rose says Bulla was encouraged and assisted to apply for international accreditation as the Shire was undertaking many exciting safety initiatives and accreditation enabled it to share its best practice knowledge with other municipalities around the world.

Ms Rose says the accreditation is a demonstration of the council’s commitment to ensuring safety is a priority across the municipality.

“It’s about how we are always trying to increase the safety of our residents across the municipality through all areas of council,” she says.

“And it helps raise the profile of safety within my organisation – I can say, ‘Did you know we are acknowledged worldwide as a leader in safety?’.”

Hume uses the Community Safety Framework to outline its strategic approach towards community safety throughout the municipality. The framework integrates the actions required to achieve the vision of a Safe Community, and fulfils the obligations of accreditation as a World Health Organisation International Safety Community, with local programs being implemented to improve community safety for all people in all settings across Hume.

The International Safe Community accreditation is achieved through satisfactorily meeting key indicators. These include broadly based partnerships working through priority groups to reduce the incidence and impact of injuries or all people in all settings, including high risk groups and places, utilising injury surveillance data to prioritise, design and evaluate interventions and sharing knowledge through local, national and international networks.

Ms Rose says she holds other accredited Safe Communities in high regard.

“It’s not necessarily difficult to become accredited, but the requirement to meet the indicators provide a quality assurance level that all municipalities must meet; so you know accredited communities must be delivering on a range of safety initiatives.”

Click here for more information on becoming an accredited Safe Community.