The Toodyay Inclusive Community Program was born from a vision that Toodyay represented a diverse community that embraced their culture and heritage and values the participation and contribution of all community members.
Representatives from the Shire of Toodyay approached Inclusion WA in December 2014 to report that Toodyay had the highest youth-related crime in the entire Wheatbelt region, spiking drastically during the holiday periods of 2014. The Shire requested Inclusion WA’s assistance in addressing the local issues after hearing of the success Inclusion WA had in Northam with similar issues. With Inclusion WA’s support, the number of youth related offences has decreased drastically in just 12 months in Toodyay.
“Toodyay’s juvenile crime typically involves offences such as graffiti, criminal damage, assaults to more serious crime such as burglary, stealing, sex offences and drug possession. A high proportion of offending juveniles come from dysfunctional families. The Toodyay Inclusive Community Program provides alternative choices for juveniles, interaction with other community members and developing relationships with local community clubs and groups. The Toodyay Inclusive Community Program has helped reduce the youth crime rate in our district and has full support from local police.”
Sergeant Warren Conder OIC Toodyay Police Station
In July 2015, just six months into the program, the Toodyay Inclusive Community Program was also recognised for this dramatic turnaround by winning the 2015 Community Safety Award.
“It was great to see the community coming together to run a range of free activities over the school holidays. It was also excellent to see so many people being healthy and active, engaging with clubs and building links with their community. Ultimately we all win and the police are also reporting a drastic decline in youth related offences and a decline in anti-social behaviour, particularly from the repeat offenders”
Kristee Jolly, Shire of Toodyay
The program has delivered an impressive 5,654 hours of inclusive sport and recreation in Toodyay since January 2015, leading to many previously disconnected community members joining local clubs and participating in civic life. Inclusion WA has worked in partnership with the Shire of Toodyay to strengthen the community by utilising, empowering and activating local assets.
“The friendliness of all participants and coaches really blew me away! Nobody felt excluded and we were just one community”
Jonelle, new resident to Toodyay
The Toodyay Inclusive Community Program now attracts many visitors to the region, promoting Toodyay and a safe, vibrant and welcoming community. Similar outcomes have been seen in communities such as Northam, Esperance, Karratha and Carnarvon over the past few years.