Forty years after it began as a pilot program in Bunbury, Neighbourhood Watch celebrated this anniversary with around 150 guests attending a morning ta hosted in the Government House Ballroom.
His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson APM Governor of Western Australia welcomed the CEO of NHW Australasia Maria Bennett, Peta Walker (the late Superintendent Jim King's daughter), NHW volunteers, community members, WA Police Force representatives and stakeholders from key organisations to the event.
Neighbourhood Watch WA Chair Bernie Durkin was the emcee and also spoke of the journey NHW has taken during four decades. "Our traditional volunteers of the 80's and 90's built the program through door knocks, letter box drops, stalls and face to face meetings to garner members and build the brand," he said. "Today our vast online community keeps the program alive in a modern and sustainable way, but despite these changes, the philosophy of the networks remains the same - neighbours looking out for neighbours."
A special mention was made to acknowledge the attendance of Derek Melhuish who at 99 years old was an original NHW volunteer in 1982. At the other end of the age spectrum, students from Orelia Primary School were excited to be attending due to their involvement in a pilot Junior NHW program being run in partnership with the City of Kwinana.
Peta Walker travelled down from Exmouth to attend the event as a special guest and Governor Dawson made a presentation to her family in recognition of the significant contribution made to NHW and crime prevention by her late father, Superintendent King.