Three Ballarat organisations have won major awards that recognise them for their contribution to community safety.
Food is Free Laneway took out the top prize at the Community Safe Awards – including $1000 – for its effort to ensure food security for everyone in the city.
The program operates from the corner Warrior Place and Ripon Street, where volunteers grow fruit and vegetables, to make them available to people who cannot afford to buy them at supermarkets.
Food is Free committee chair Ginelle Polanske said her organisation provided 24 hour access to people.
“Many people who need to access food don’t want to be going to hand out buses where they are noticed for not being able to access fresh food and veggies,” she said.
“Our aim is that food is equitable for all so you don't have to be struggling.
“We are trying to provide a space that is safe in terms of being closer to their neighbours, shared with the people around them, and establishing networks in the community.”
Women’s Health Grampians topped the crime prevention category for its programs to stop violence against women.
The group covers an area from Ballarat to the South Australia border.
Its Communities of Respect and Equality (CORE) program uses five steps to tackle violence.
This includes addressing victim blaming or excusing violence, giving women control of decision making and independence, reducing stereotypes, respectful relationships, and gender equality issues.
The group’s Dee Micevski said the aim was to change the beliefs and attitudes towards women.
“We have 70 alliances members who have joined this initiative and working towards a shared vision to prevent violence against women,” she said.
“Then the key cause of violence against women is gender equality, and having a conversation about that is working.
Stockland Wendouree also received the Urban Design for Safe and Healthy Environments award, for its adult change room.