We acknowledge the original custodians, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin alliance, of the land on which our buildings of worship stand and on which we gather.
& THE COMING WEEK
Paul C explains YRIPP
YRIPP is Youth Resource Independent Persons Program
Paul, a member in Crossroads Werribee Congregation, is involved in a community work that is not well-known. YRIPP is a co-operative partnership of the Centre for Multicultural Youth, the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and Victoria Police. Independent Person volunteers participating have flexible involvement. They sign on for 12-hour shifts, often 6pm to 6 am. If a minor is arrested, they may be placed in a holding cell and the parent or guardian is called to appear with that young person (YP) in their police interview. If no parent or guardian is available, police must phone YRIPP, requesting that an Independent Person (IP) attend to support the YP. The IP will be told the name of the offending minor, and the offence. Paul is assigned to seven police stations in Melbourne’s West & NW including Werribee, Sunshine, Deer Park and Altona. He may be asked to attend at any one of these stations when on roster. The IP is expected to respond quickly, and to meet promptly with the young person as the law requires that minors are supported by an adult throughout their time in police custody. Training of IPs is a comprehensive on-line computer-generated set of modules work, together with Zoom work with trainers and group workshops. Paul says: “This is a well-run organisation. The Victorian operation is regarded as world’s best practice.”
The IP’s first step is to meet with the police officer concerned, and secondly to meet the young person privately, to assess whether that young person is capable of being interviewed. Those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage will be referred to the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) and its range of support services.
“My first task is to assess the YP’s mental and physical health to determine when the young person will ready for police interview. I organize food, medical attention and their phone call. I then go through the caution with them, and make sure they understand they have the right to remain silent. The police interview is recorded while I am present, and the young person may ask for a lawyer which I organise,” says Paul.
Says Paul: “Many of the young offenders are dealing with disconnection from school or family; they are vulnerable, many are struggling to adjust to this new country after escaping war zones and/or time in refugee camps. Everyone has a unique story, and for the listener it’s like peeling back the layers of an onion. Some ethnic groups have been targeted by the media, and labelled unfairly. This makes it tough for the well-behaved refugee kids, trying to find their way. The media has much to answer for.”
Paul sums up: “We all have a part to play; understanding that kids aren’t born bad but often are a victim of circumstance. It doesn’t excuse their offending but does help explain how they got into this situation. It’s good that there are agencies, including Uniting’s “Reconnect West” youth services program, that are working towards early intervention. The Independent Persons program has been going for over 25 years and actually began here in Werribee before becoming a statewide initiative. I’m proud to be playing a part in supporting our vulnerable youth.”
Last Sunday Ken S presented farewell gifts to Robyn and George T, and to Sharron and David I; both couples have re-located to Cranbourne North. Ken spoke of the contribution made by Robyn and George to Church Council, and of Robyn’s work as Pastoral Support in the ministry team.
Sharron and David were active in many ways including STAN and Church Fete. Sharron will be working at Frankston Hospital, and David will be on the nursing staff at Warragul Hospital. George has retired from paid work. Robyn will continue in her role as Chaplain at Uniting Age Well in Wyndham Vale.
Cathryn R talks about Uniting Wyndham
Cathryn is Senior Manager for Uniting Wyndham community services, based across inner-west right through to Ballarat. She provides collaborative and supportive leadership at our Uniting VicTas Duncans Road site .
Cathryn greets the readers of CONNECTION, and says: “Our emergency relief program has resumed food parcels five days a week, together with electronic food vouchers to provide support quickly. The program is where you will feel welcomed and respected throughout the process”.
Our Synnot Street Op Shop (6 days per week) now has a full-time worker sponsored by government funding who is training the team of volunteers until July 2021 and then we will have a full complement of volunteers. If you consider volunteering may be for you, talk to Shelley on 0466 592 505.
Says Cathryn: “Our Housing Team continues to assist people with a range of needs from the ‘early intervention’ stage to the main stage of needing stable accommodation options. We are urgently looking for storage, for donated furniture and electrical appliances, which would help some of the most vulnerable in our community with the resources they need. If any member of the congregation can offer space or suggest an opportunity to store items, we would welcome it!”
“Our Housing, Education and Linkage Program (HELP) worker at Wyndham Park Primary School has resumed on site within the schools, supported by Victorian government funding. Wyndham Rotary is also supporting the children and families with clothing, shoes and school bags—practical items meeting a real need”, Cathryn says. (NT)
Church Council elections
At the Annual Congregational Meeting, four people were re-elected for a further term and one new member was elected. Those re-elected were Luciana A, Margaret G, Robert R, and Salote T.
New member, Lauren D, came to Crossroads in 2006 with her family (the Withers) and she has since made Werribee and the Crossroads community home. She has taken an active role in many aspects of our community’s life, including the church camp, the dance group, kids and youth groups, Relay for Life and other fundraising activities. (The family – Lauren, Geoff, Harry and Mayer)
What’s On This Week
- Monday: 7.30 pm Card-making (G)
- Wednesday: 7 pm Church Council (on Zoom)
- Friday: 5 pm African Youth
Worship Plan for this coming week
18 April 2021
Acts 3:12–19; Psalm 4; I John 3:1–7; Luke 24:35–48
- Greetings: Simon R
- Flowers: Valerie M
- Music: Wendy B
- Audio-visual: Noel S
- Online service: Paul C
- Prayers of the People: Margaret B
- Reader: Julie Rees
- Sign-in: Frances G & Luciana A Cleaning: Frances G & Paul C
Housekeeping & Help
Pastoral care will be maintained during these difficult days but it is subject to the rules regarding access to hospitals and aged care homes.
Please contact Rev. Annetia Goldsmith for any pastoral care needs.
CHURCH OFFICE INFORMATION
The church office is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9.30am to 12 noon.
Telephone 03 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.