Stunned community rallies
The community of Tambellup has rallied together since the tragic alleged murder of Wilfred Williams in the Great Southern town earlier this month.
Key local stakeholders and various other agencies have been working closely to offer a variety of support services and recreational activities.
It is early days yet, but a key outcome of the collective community effort will be establishing a “geographical hub” out of the Shire of Broomehill-Tambellup’s “Zone” building.
The building has the potential to act as a regular drop-in centre, according to Senior Constable Robert Adamczyk, while linking young people to agency services, such as out-of-school education programs, counselling, indigenous cultural activities and mentoring.
“Basically the Tambellup Community Resource Centre will continue it’s vital role of engaging with educational stuff and services they already do and ‘the Zone’, funding and stakeholder permitted, will offer a recreational component,” he said.
“We’re not trying to re-invent the wheel, but really the main people we want to work with are the elders, to lead the way. Without them the indigenous community won’t get behind ‘the Zone’.
“Relationships Australia, they already have an educational component. They’re doing tutoring there for extra circular activities.”
The Tambellup police station is in the process of joining WA PCYC’s Blue Light Association, bringing it line with other stations in the region, including Narrogin and Kojonup.
The WA Police’s Blue Light program offers activities for young people in an environment free from anti-social behaviour, drugs and alcohol.
“What is in concrete is PCYC has extended their hand to become a Blue Light centre or Blue Light station,” Sen. Const. Adamczyk said.
“We’ll lodge that application this week, which should be an instant join, which will put us under their portfolio for insurances for activities.
“They’ll give us a one-off kind donation of $500 to get start.”
“Still in a state of shock”
Friends and family of Wilfred Williams travelled to Katanning on Tuesday for his funeral, after his tragic death in the early hours of August 4.
Officer-in-charge of Tambellup Police Station Sergeant Josh Humble said police were engaging with local residents in an effort to give peace of mind to the community.
“I think the town is still in a state of shock. It has obviously had a heavy effect on the family and relativities to the deceased and also the suspect,” he said.
“But the wider community at large has been affected unfortunately ... we’re working with family and the community to try and put their mind at ease. Hopefully this is a one-off terrible incident.”
After the tragedy, former Tambellup officer-in-charge Sergeant Allan Mallard travelled back to the Great Southern town from Armadale to assist the recently stationed officers break down cultural barriers and engage with community leaders.
Sgt Humble said local police would now focus their energies on the region’s drug trade and giving youth in the community recreational opportunities.
“We’re going to target the drugs. Methamphetamine use and distribution throughout the area is completely unacceptable,” he said.
“That is going to be one of our major priorities ... not only in Tambellup but on the arterial roads outside of Tambellup.
“And we’re going to be working more broadly with the youth to try and assist them to avoid that path with activities.
“I think the indigenous and non-indigenous community are on the same page, and that is that drugs are completely unacceptable in our town.
“We’ve all got to work together, it’s not a solely police issue this one, it requires the entire community.”
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