Gunnedah’s war on drugs continues, with a collaborative community event staged on Friday to raise awareness of the negative impact of illicit drugs, and the misuse of legal drugs, such as alcohol.
Gunnedah Shire Council, Gunnedah Crime Prevention Working Group and Gunnedah Community Drug Action Team joined forces with Gunnedah resident Judith Law to host the ‘Say No to Drugs Walk’ at Wolseley Park.
The initiative was a result of a request made to council by local resident Judith Law, to replicate a past event.
Gunnedah Shire Council Social Planner Debra Hilton said the event was also significant because it coincided with the 40th anniversary of the murder of long-time drug campaigner Donald Mackay in Griffith in 1977.
She said the walk was an opportunity to educate and raise awareness in a very visible way.
“Being aware of the reasons children and adults use and become at- risk of being either dependent or addicted to drugs or alcohol is an important step,” Ms Hilton said. “We know that children and adults use drugs for a whole range of reasons.
“Research has shown overwhelmingly that working as a collective and bringing all sectors of the community together – to address and respond to drug related issues – is the most effective long-term strategy for building a stronger, more resilient and safe community.”
Ms Hilton said Gunnedah Shire is a “caring community” and that everyone can take an active role in doing what they can by increasing knowledge around drug use and to educate others.
“In particular our young people – in order to prevent drug taking and experimentation, and to minimise the harm and impact on not only the individual but the family and the community,” Ms Hilton said.
Crime Prevention Working Group Chair Colleen Fuller said the group will continue to target issues in the community.
“On behalf of Crime Prevention I believe that over many many years we’ve worked and seen changes and I think it shows in our community,” Cr Fuller said. “And we won’t rest on what we are doing.”
More than 100 community members united to walk the oval in support of the cause ending in the formation of a visible ‘No’ in the centre of Wolseley oval.
NSW Police, HealthWise, Gunnedah Family Support Home Base, Mackellar Care Services and Gunida Gunyah were among organisations represented at the walk.
Media Contact: Ashley Gardner 6740 2100.