"Imagine what our real neighbourhoods would look like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to each other." (Fred Rogers).
This ideal drives our new Meet Your Street campaign. A campaign to foster stronger connections between residents within local Monash neighbourhoods and to positively impact residents' perceptions of their own safety (personal and property), the safety of their neighbourhood and their safety within Monash.
The campaign will see Council working in partnership with the community to build these connections.
People who live in communities where they know their neighbours, regularly engage with one another and feel more connected are more resilient and often report feeling safer in their home and their neighbourhood.
By creating strong connections between our neighbourhoods, we hope to increase a feeling of being safe for our residents.
The trial project will be rolled out in small focused precincts in Ashwood, Clayton, Glen Waverley and Wheelers Hill. Council has allocated $125,000 in its 2018/19 budget towards the project and has also applied for State Government grants to support the trial.
The project is based on a strong data base of research using community feedback from the 2018 Community Satisfaction Survey, the 2018 Resilient Youth Survey, Census data, Monash University data and our 2021 survey.
Meet Your Street will be supported by a number of external organisations including local Neighbourhood Houses, Neighbourhood Watch, Victoria Police, Link Health and community leadership groups.
Read the Council report on Meet Your Street (pdf, 151KB)
On November 2017, Council formed the Monash Community Safety Special Advisory Committee. Whilst Monash is a safe community some residents had reported that they felt unsafe in their area. At the time the committee was formed, Monash ranked 57 out of the 79 Local Goverment Areas for reported criminal offences (31 December 2017).
The committee was formed to develop an innovative response to communicate to the Monash community that the city is generally a safe place to live.
The committee was chaired by 2018 Victorian of the Year, Dr Susan Alberti AC and included:
- Mayor Paul Klisaris and Councillors Josh Fergeus, Geoff Lake and Rebecca Paterson
- Monash CEO Andi Diamond
- Inspector Paul Robotham, Monash Local Area Commander, Victoria Police
- Richard Watkins, APM Superintendent, Eastern Region Division 1, Victoria Police
- Christiaan O'Dea, Department of Justice
- Associate Professor Rebecca Wickers, Associate Professor Criminology and Deputy Director for the Centre for Social and population Research, Monash University.
Meet Your Street will focus on two key strategies. The first is the rollout of a trial campaign in four small neighbourhood areas in Monash. A part-time project officer will work with the four neighbourhoods in Monash to help people get to know each other, to build engagement and to provide support. Neighbourhoods will be encouraged and supported with local community events, meeting and activities centred around their local streets.
The project will include:
- A postcard campaign encouraging people to introduce themselves to their neighbour
- Using the local community hub to bring the community together to talk about the campaign, plan and take part in fun activities and get to know each other
- Support from Council in these activities, whether it be a street party, neighbourhood gathering or community activity to improve the neighbourhood.
Council will evaluate the project to gauge its success through surveys and neighbourhood feedback.
Perceptions of safety
The 2018 Community Satisfaction Survey was undertaken in April/May 2018 with 800 randomly selected households in Monash. The survey was conducted as a face-to-face interview with residents and a series of questions were asked about safety and crime in Monash.
Read the full report 2018 Community Satisfaction Survey (pdf, 5MB) .
The report states that the perception of safety in the public areas of the City of Monash both during the day and at night was very high, and higher than the metropolitan Melbourne average for other Councils surveyed.
Safety, policing and crime related issues were raised as issues to address in Monash by 7.1% of respondents to the survey.
For more information on crime statistics and safety, visit the Crime Statistics Agency.