Packed house for crisis service meeting
IT WAS a packed house for the recent annual general meeting of the Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service (WCCS), with members of the community, local police force and government departments all taking time to attend.
Key guest speakers included federal member for Dawson George Christensen, who addressed some of the most pressing issues the organisation now faces - funding and red tape.
Mr Christensen said the new Federal Government would be making it easier for not-for-profit and community organisations to operate with less red tape "so that less time is wasted doing administration and more time is engaged in doing what you do best and that is helping the community".
Mr Christensen also spoke about the need to find funding for essential programs and his own desire to see funding allocations extended in length.
His comments were welcomed by WCCS outgoing treasurer Joan Collings who said "we seem to be forever renewing agreements at different times of the year and nothing can ever be co-ordinated".
Mr Christensen praised the organisation for its dedication, hard work and the success of programs such as the school-age healthy relationships initiative 'Love Bites'.
"The work you're doing - right across the Whitsundays - it is something that without this service there would be a real gap in the community so I really want to praise you for the efforts that you put in, day in, day out," he said.
WCCS CEO Carmen Bekker said the organisation appeared to be making a real difference to the area and was a unique response in a rural setting.
"I think we have become part of the wider community and I hope that some of the work we're doing is bringing that community together as well," she said.
WCCS works towards the prevention and reduction of violence in the community by providing professional services to women, children, young people and families who have experienced family violence, sexual assault or are at risk of abuse or neglect.
For more information on the service, phone 4946 2999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.