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Andrea Cameron is keeping her community safe

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A woman in beige coloured shirt stands next to another woman in black dress and in front of four photos hanging on a wood panel wall.
Community Night Patroller Andrea Cameron and Australian Government Adviser Shona Falconer
13 Nov 2018

A successful Community Night Patroller requires local knowledge, local language and abides by the community's culture and traditions.

And Andrea Cameron, from Palumpa in the NT, has it all.

Having served for nearly four years as a Community Night Patroller, she is one of only two female team leaders for West Daly Regional Council. Andrea is passionate about the important work patrollers do within their community.

'When I was a member of the NT police it gave me a better and clearer understanding of the NT justice laws, so later on down the track I decided to get a job as a Community Night Patroller,' Andrea said.

‘We are often the first people on the scene and are always expected by the Community to perform our duties correctly at all times and it gives me great pleasure to be able to help my people whenever I can. I help them to understand the justice system so that they do not reoffend and go back to prison. I am working to make our community better and to help my community.’

Andrea’s role and that of her fellow patrollers is to improve community safety through patrolling the streets at night, offering culturally sensitive assistance, providing referrals to support services and transporting community members to safety.

‘It gives me a good feeling being part of the community and being able to look after the community,’ Andrea said.

‘Especially the younger ones as they may not always have strong parental supervision and need to be pulled in to line. I like being able to help out the best I can and pass my knowledge on.’

Patrollers work with the community to raise awareness of the importance of regular school attendance and assist children to be in a safe environment at night time to support this school attendance.

Andrea’s past role as a police officer has helped her develop a good relationship with the local police.

‘They are responsive when there is a major issue within the community that we need help with,’ Andrea said.

‘Community Night Patrollers also help the Police understand the local community and can mediate or translate when needed.’

‘It is hard to face some of the issues and challenges of the community, but I feel good when I can overcome these challenges and help my countrymen.’

‘Community Night Patrollers do not get a lot of recognition or rewards for the work they do and Community Night Patrollers are often the first on the scene and do a lot of hard work.’

Find out more

The Australian Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy funds Community Night Patrol (CNP) providers through its Safety and Wellbeing Programme.

The funds support 15 CNP service providers to operate patrols across 80 communities in the NT. Total funding for CNP in the NT in 2016-17 was $26.3 million which includes funding for legal training and support for night patrols.

The Government also provided $730,000 in June 2017 for a CNP Workforce Safety Package to help ensure the safety of night patrol workers. Roll-out of the package has commenced including the provision of reflective safety uniforms and specialised resources and training for patrollers.

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