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Issue 39 Winter 2017 PP 100018977



President's message2 Maryborough Blue Light Blast Camp4 Ballarat Blue Light Skate Competition9 History of Geelong Police Blue Light Disco 1982 - 201610 Walk Beside Me13


Beaufort Blue Light Motorcycle Club14 Castlemaine Blue Light to go into Recess15 Opportunity Knocks15 Abc Back to Blue Light Event16 Fistful of Confidence: Blue Light Boxing 19 Melton Blue Light is Back!23 Heyfield Blue Light Disco23 Alexandria Skate Day24


Ballarat Student Of The Month Awards26

Prime Ministers Youth Program (PMYP)32

Stay on Track Camp28

Take a Kid Flying34

Blue Light Goes West29

The Blue Light Camp36

Blue Light Barcy Mud Dash30

Edgecumbe Teenagers Camp 38

Advertisers Alert Countrywide Austral is appointed by the Blue Light State Council as the authorised publisher of the Blue Light National Magazine. For enquiries re advertising in this magazine, please contact the publishers:

Send content for National Blue Light Magazine to:

Level 2, 310 King Street, Melbourne 3000 Postal: GPO Box 2466, Melbourne 3001 Ph: (03) 9937 0200 Fax: (03) 9937 0201 Email: Art and Production: Jason Jeffery & Jessica Watts

Editor Karen Burns Blue Light Victoria Inc Email: Contributions: Photography should only be supplied digitally or as original prints. (Please supply stamped, self addressed envelope for returning.) Please avoid scanning of any type. Text can be supplied as a Microsoft Word document.

Disclaimer: Countrywide Austral (“The Publisher”) advises that the contents of this publication are offered solely for information purposes only. The publication has been formulated in good faith and The Publisher believes its contents to be accurate, however, the contents do not amount to a recommendation (either expressly or by implication) and should not be relied upon in lieu of specific professional advice. The Publisher disclaims all responsibility for any loss or damage which may be incurred by any reader relying upon the information contained in the publication whether that loss or damage is caused by any fault or negligence on the part of the publisher, its directors and employees. Copyright: All advertisements appearing in this publication are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced except with the consent of the owner of the copyright. Advertising: Advertisements in this journal are solicited from organisations and businesses on the understanding that no special considerations other than those normally accepted in respect of commercial dealings, will be given to any advertiser.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE Superintendent Debra Robertson

In 2017, Blue Light youth engagement comes in many shapes and sizes resulting in young people being involved in responsible, challenging activities to create positive social change. Some of these activities require considerable Blue Light planning bringing about life changing experiences for our youth and it is credit to the commitment and passion of all involved.


ith 40 branches across the state in both metro and rural areas there are so many great programs and events happening in the community. Although not all of our branches are currently active for various reasons the board is working hard to reinvigorate those that wish to be. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Bendigo Blue Light Boxing program being run from The Hit Factory Boxing Club by Sergeant Adam Woods. The program has been running for 8 months now and close to 30 kids are involved. The success of this program is proof that you don’t need to be a Youth Resource Officer to engage positively with young people. I firmly believe that all police members are Youth Resource Officers and programs such as this give us the opportunity to interact and learn about


the world our young live in or sometimes only just survive in. As we begin to prepare for our Annual Report I would like to share with you a few facts about Blue Light that you might not know. • 487 events have been run in 16/17 (up from 419) • Events total 4,404 hours (up from 3,720) • 141 individual police members are regularly involved in Blue Light branches (up from 117) • We have 35 active branches (up from 33)

Our camp hosts 3,255 children (up from 3,020) • 18 PSA’s now have a branch compared to 16 last year. Currently ED1, SD1 & SD2 are the only divisions without a Blue Light branch. • Discos make up 31% of our programs, sport 45%, Camps 14%, Motorcycle 1%, 9% other. To me these statistics are a true reflection of the passion and commitment that all of the police and community members involved have for youth today. It is our job to adapt

“I recently had the opportunity to visit the Bendigo Blue Light Boxing program being run from The Hit Factory Boxing Club by Sergeant Adam Woods. The program has been running for 8 months now and close to 30 kids are involved.”

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

“The vision is to create a space that will provide young people with the opportunity to experience and enjoy the process of preparing and eating food.”



opportunity to experience and enjoy the process of preparing and eating food. Stay tuned for photos of the project in the next magazine. Another exciting event that is planned this year is the 2017 Policing and Young People Conference hosted by Blue Light Victoria in partnership with Victoria Police. This conference will take place on Wednesday the 11th of October, 2017 at the Richmond Football Club. It will be open to police members and to the general public so stayed tuned for further information as the agenda is confirmed. Lastly I would like to take the opportunity to thank Graeme Anstey and Sergeant Paul Martin for their time and on the Blue Light Victoria board. They have both contributed considerably during their time and we wish them all the best for their future endeavours. At the same time we would like to


Debra Robertson President – Blue Light Victoria



to the ever changing environment that is presented to us with many of our branches successfully bringing in new programs and events. (You can read about in this magazine) If you have never been to our camp facility in Maldon I would strongly encourage you to do so! A big thank you to Camberwell Rotary, Gandell Foundation and Australia Post for their financial contribution toward the task of renovating and installing a new community kitchen at the camp. The camp will enable branches/groups to run activities that address food insecurity issues that many young people at risk are facing. It will also give many youth a purpose and skill in life they can share with their family and may assist with a future career decision. The vision is to create a space that will provide young people with the

welcome onboard Michelle Wood and Stella Smith. Both of these women bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience from within the notfor-profit sector and business. Bringing diversity to the board has been a focus that we are now achieving. In closing, in the words of Albert Schweitzer:- “Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.” Blue Light Victoria is thankful and grateful for your commitment to the cause.

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the essential guide into adulthood VIC COVE R TEMPLA TE







Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



MARYBOROUGH BLUE LIGHT BLAST CAMP On Friday the 25th of November, 2016 23 young people set off to the Blue Light Youth Camp in Maldon.


untie Julie Mchale and Auntie Katherine Coff from Nalderun out of Castlemaine and District Health Services as well as Auntie Kerri Douglas (KESO) from Goldfields did a tremendous job organising the kids attendance. The camp was targeted at young people who identified as Indigenous. Maryborough Rotary Club very kindly offered Shane Green to run a LIFT program on Saturday morning for the kids which was really good to see. The kids all took turns in public speaking and working in teams to solve puzzles. They were very challenged and had a look of fun! One of the objectives of this camp was to pass on some indigenous culture to the kids in a fun and engaging way. People would be very surprised at how often we find young indigenous people who don’t know very much about their culture, we also find that whenever we run these sessions they love it. Auntie Julie had 3 teachings for the kids to listen to and had them enthralled. Her and Auntie Kerri also performed a welcoming and smoking ceremony. Auntie Kerri taught the kids about aboriginal art. 4

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017


ABORIGINAL WELCOME TO COUNTRY AND SMOKING CEREMONY The traditional practices of acknowledging the Traditional Custodians and seeking permission to enter or use resources from the land and sea have always been in place in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies, this practice is only starting to emerge as a growing convention in modern Australian society. Welcome to Country gives custodians the opportunity to formally welcome people to their land. The Welcome to Country ceremony should, where possible, be undertaken by Elders, by a locally recognised Aboriginal community spokesperson. A smoking ceremony is one of the most significant ancient ceremonies performed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The ceremony involves smouldering various native plants to produce smoke which are believed to have cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits.”

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



Before going for dinner the kids had the choice between going for a walk to find the black wattle to make clapping sticks or doing an art session where they got to paint their own boomerang. Auntie Kath taught the kids and adults about indigenous plants used for cooking and sang an indigenous song prior to everyone making damper and cooking it in an open fire. They all took part in archery, mini golf, rock wall climbing, air hockey, mini golf, footy and nerf gun wars. It was a tremendous success. They all presented Leading Senior Constable Denis Farrell with a painting that each child had placed a hand print on with the words BLAST 2016. He was very moved by it.


National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017


WHAT DO THE KIDS SAY? Speaking to one of the children after the camp she was asked what were some of the highlights of the camp and what was something that she took away from the camp. Her response is as follows – The camp gave me an opportunity to listen to the teachings of Aboriginal Culture. As Aunty Julie was telling us the teachings I could visualise what was happening. It was the first time that I had heard the teachings. It was great to meet lots of kids from around the area that are the same as me. I met them and became friends with them over the couple of days. One of the best parts was taking part in the bubble soccer and the Nerf battle. I can’t wait to go on camp again! This young girl has come from a family that knew they were Aboriginal but noone took them seriously. It has taken many years for the family to be accepted as Aboriginal and the family are glad that the children are being involved in the cultural aspect of their lives. The camp was a brilliant chance for the children who are in similar situations to get to know each other, Aunts in their community and the police in a nonthreatening way who can become mentors for the students.

“Great to meet other Koorie kids.” “we are going to keep in touch with each other.” “Omg I swore in front of a police officer!!!!!” “The cops are cool.” “I thought the Jacks were just there to catch you doing something wrong, now I know they are really there to help us.” “you don’t have to worry about the Police unless you’ve done something wrong.” “It was great hearing the stories, oops Teachings.” “I liked the way the Teachings are linked to geology and proving how long the mob have been here."

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



A BIG THANK YOU This camp would not have been possible without the generous support of the local community including the Avoca Community Bank who awarded us a grant, Maryborough Rotary, Nalderrun, Victoria Police, Maryborough Blue Light, Blue Light Victoria, Member for Ripon


Louise Staley and Todd, Denise, Belinda and the food bank for looking after us. Thanks also to our wonderful volunteers who gave up their weekend to be a part of this camp. LSC Denis Farrell, LSCÂ Bernie Cowley, LSC Grant Polglaise, LSC Rick Boyd, Martin and Graham

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

(from Rotary) thank you all for attending and helping out. Lastly we need to thank our fantastic camp participants! We hope that you had a wonderful weekend full of fun, challenges and great learnings about your culture!


BALLARAT BLUE LIGHT SKATE COMPETITION Saturday 8th April 2017, marked the last day of National Youth Week. By Des Hudson, Youth Resource Officer and Leading Senior Constable


ocal Ballarat youth had seen some great events over the course of the week, and there was no better way to finish it than with a Skate Park competition for the youth of Ballarat at Len. T Frazer Reserve, hosted by Ballarat Blue Light. Senior Constable Beck Warke from Ballarat Police, spent months in organisation to facilitate the skate event for the youth. Working collaboratively with Ballarat Blue Light, City of Ballarat Youth Services (B-You), Ballarat SES and the Australian Skate Boarding Federation, Ballarat Blue Light stepped outside of their monthly disco event to engage and build a rapport with a different section of the local youth community. This competition gave the youth a platform to show their skills that they practice day in and day out regularly at the skate park. Entry was free for children to participate and thanks to local stores; Rebel Sport Ballarat and Skin, Ski and Surf, the children were spoilt with giveaways throughout the day. The day comprised of three disciplines,scooter, BMX and

skateboard. Each discipline had three age categories; Under 12, Under 16 and an Open Division with the first three place getters of each division receiving medals. With the SES firing up the BBQ to keep both the participants and spectators fuelled, the day started with perfect weather. The atmosphere was set with music amplified across the park, the kids were keen to get started and first up were the Scooter participants. The display of talent left the many family, friends and supporters speechless. This was followed by some extraordinary talents on the BMX. Throughout all events, the kids were actively involved in the calling of the runs and under the guidance of the Australian Skateboarding Federation became the chief judges and scorers for each competition. This was a great example of the kids building on their leadership skills and really cultivated a youth led day. Due to limited numbers in the skateboard discipline the young people decided to run one open division as a jam session which allowed

15 minutes of freestyle skateboarding to showcase their best tricks. With the music still going, but the storm clouds rolling in, final presentations were done for the skateboard section, and then it was time to pack up. President of Ballarat Blue Light, Leading Senior Constable Des Hudson commended Senior Constable Beck Warke for her initiative in delivering a high quality event which the participants and spectators just loved. This was a fabulous event and broaden the reach of our local Blue Light activities. It generated great excitement by the kids and I feel confident that we will be able to factor this in as an annual event on our local Blue Light Calendar. With a total of 48 participants aged from 6-25, the question has already been asked "When's the next one?" With so much excitement and interest created, Ballarat Blue Light cannot wait to build on this successful and enjoyable day which started as an idea from Senior Constable Warke.

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine




1982 - 1987


n February 1982 at the Geelong Police Station, Senior Constable George Udvardy was approached by Sergeant Greg Moore of the Geelong Crime Car Squad and Sergeant David Long of the Geelong Uniform Section with a view to beginning a Blue Light Disco in the Geelong area. As the three members lived in Grovedale, they recognised the need for a drug and alcohol free entertainment facility for the young people of the area. A Minister/Youth Worker by the name of Monte Simon was enlisted to assist in the formation of the first committee of the then called Grovedale Blue Light Disco. The committee comprised of Sergeant Long (President), Sergeant Moore (Secretary), Senior Constable Udvardy (Treasurer) and Mr Simon (Committee Member). The first disco was held at the Scout Hall in Reserve Road, Grovedale in March 1982. Some 82 local teenagers


attended and it was apparent there was a need for something to be done as many youths attending were affected by alcohol. The committee took a disciplined approach, explaining that the Blue Light was a drug/alcohol free event, and made it clear that youths would not be permitted to attend the function without obeying the rules. To the committee’s amazement the second disco, which was held a fortnight after the first, attracted 200 teenagers and very few were affected by alcohol. There was very little trouble experienced and a friendly rapport and respect was being built up between the police officers and the youth of Grovedale. The committee members were amazed by the rapid growth they were experiencing and at the respect which was being shown to them, even though they had strict rules in relation to alcohol and behaviour at the events. By disco number 6 they were having crowds of 600 teenagers attending however the venue was too small to cater for such large numbers. The committee negotiated a new venue and as of June 1982 the new home for the now renamed Geelong Blue Light Disco was the South Barwon Activity Centre.

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

Disco attendances at this venue were between 800 to 2000 teenagers at a mixture of disco and live band nights. Bands such as Uncanny X Men, Pseudo Echo, Kids in the Kitchen, Eurogliders, Mental as Anything, Dynamic Heptonics, Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel), Swannee, Chantoosies and the Models attracted huge crowds. Record attendance was recorded at Uncanny X Men in 1986 where 2100 teenagers attended. Private enterprise became aware of the need for youth entertainment and began to hold youth discos at both the Italian Social Club and a venue in the city called The Attic (in James Street). As these venues had much nicer surroundings Blue Light Disco attendances began to diminish, mainly because of venue ‘appearance’ and also the ‘strict rules’ enforced on attending teenagers regarding alcohol and behaviour at Blue Lights. Teenagers also found they were able to have more ‘freedom’ at the private enterprise venues. No longer were they placed under strict scrutiny, especially with regards to alcohol, as they had been at the Blue Light Discos. Because of these problems, Blue Light Discos went into recess in late 1987.


1992 - 1998


lue Light Discos returned and came back stronger than ever in September 1992 after committee members were able to negotiate a venue at The Lyric Night Club (Little Ryrie Street). Throughout the next 7 years, Discos, Theme nights, Band nights and Special events were held approximately 14 times a year at the Lyric. They were for teenagers, under the control of the Geelong Blue Light Disco Inc., and all were drug free with considerable sponsorship and support from Local businesses.

1999 - 2007


he discos held at the Lyric Nightclub continued to be hugely successful. In 2002 the Police Schools Involvement Program decided to invite Grade 6 students from Primary Schools in the Barwon Region to attend Blue Light Discos. These were held at the Lyric, during school hours, over a number of days in December of each year. These events were hugely popular with the schools and were treated as a type of ‘graduation’ party for the students. These are now held every year for the Primary Schools and up to 3000 Grade 5/6 students attend. During 2003 the owners of the Lyric Nightclub initiated processes to sell the premises. The nightclub became run down and its reputation suffered. Blue Light Discos were continued to be held there, however attendances dropped dramatically with only 100 to 300 teenagers attending the events. The Nightclub was eventually sold in 2003/2004 and the Blue Light Discos suddenly did not have a home. Arrangements were made for the Primary School discos to be continued and to be held at the Geelong West Town Hall. Due to the age of the kids attending, and the fact that they attend

During these times and up to the end of 1998 the Geelong Blue Light Discos were the most successful in Victoria with average crowd attendances of 1000 teenagers – a full house at the venue.

“During these times and up to the end of 1998 the Geelong Blue Light Discos were the most successful in Victoria with average crowd attendances of 1000 teenagers.”

Success of the discos at the time was attributed to the facts that: • Teenagers were not ‘over exposed’ to the disco nights with only 14 per year. • There were many ‘prizes’ and ‘giveaways’ on offer. • The Lyric Nightclub was an exciting place with full light shows, video technology, special artists, themes and great music. • The parent’s acceptance of the police organisation, security and running of the venue. • Other organisations had attempted to run underage discos during this period but generally had poor attendances. During the above periods most teenagers that attended the discos were from the Suburbs of Geelong, Geelong East, Geelong West, Belmont and Highton.

during school hours as part of their curriculum, these discos continued to be successful. The normal discos, however, were suffering deeply due to having no suitable venue. For the next year and a half, no Blue Light Discos for teenagers were held. Many other venues were sourced (a couple tried) as possible alternatives to the Lyric however a few points became obvious: • The teenagers did not want to be in a ‘hall’ or similar type venue. • They wanted a venue in the Geelong centre area. • The venue had to be a nightclub with the associated ‘nightclub atmosphere’. The teenagers were desperate for Blue Light Discos to get up and running again. After the Lyric Nightclub closed down, 2 years was spent in limbo, searching for a place that would be willing to accept Blue Light Discos and one that the teenagers would be happy with. In mid 2005, three Blue Light Discos were held at the Statik Nightclub (James Street – old Attic Nightclub) and were attended by up to 600 teenagers each

time. The venue, however, was fairly substandard and was located right in the centre of the central business district, which caused amenity problems – a lot of trouble was caused ‘outside’ the venue in the street, by persons ‘walking by’ and not attending the disco – and impacted badly on the committee. The committee eventually decided that this was not the image they wanted and stopped holding them there. The Deakin Waterfront in Geelong was used on two occasions. Attendances were poor and the comments for lack of attendance were that it wasn’t a nightclub and had no atmosphere. These discos were also discontinued by the committee. Discos were held at Coastal halls (Torquay, Collendina etc) however interest by the teenagers and attendance was extremely poor. They were also discontinued. In December 2006 Home House Nightclub (Moorabool Street) agreed, after extended negotiating with the Blue Light committee, to use their venue to hold Blue Light Discos. The first disco was attended by 300 teenagers. A month later the next disco was attended by over

“Geelong Blue Light Discos, once again, were the most successfully run discos in the entire State. It appeared that the committee had found another venue that would last the passage of time with Blue Lights.” Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



700 teenagers - however a number were affected by alcohol. Strict standards and protocol were advertised and diligently enforced and over the next few months another 5 discos were held at the venue with minimal trouble - a huge success considering the shaky start. Attendances were in excess of 700 teenagers at each disco with many being turned away on each date. Geelong Blue Light Discos, once again, were the most successfully run discos in the entire State. It appeared that the committee had found another venue that would last the passage of time with Blue Lights, just as The Lyric had done for over 12 years. On 24/04/07 a ‘special effort’ disco was held at Home House to raise funds for a local teenage girl struck down with cancer. This disco saw over 760 teenagers attend (many turned away), 35 police and volunteers assist in running it and local footballers and celebrities attend. In all, the disco and associated support raised over $10,000.00 for the teenager and her mother and was extremely positive in the media for both police and the nightclub. During the early and middle months of 2007, however, the Geelong ‘nightlife’ scene had become increasingly newsworthy. Assaults at nightclubs and in the streets, rapes in the central Geelong area and general drunkenness, damage and appalling

behaviour by patrons attending the night life in Geelong began making front page news. Home House Nightclub’s reputation began to suffer. As a result a decision was made by the Liquor Licensing Commission to reject applications to hold Blue Light Discos at the venue for a period of time. Subsequently, no Blue Light Discos were held from late April 2007 to late November 2007. During the few months from April, other nightclubs had tried to hold ‘underage’ discos. After being initially successful, they had faltered due to lack of numbers attending and eventually stopped running. It is believed that the parents did not want their teenagers going to a disco in the city unless it is run by the police with the strict ‘Blue Light Disco’ standards and conditions enforced by police in control of it. At this present time there are no other venues suitable to hold teenage Blue Light Discos in Geelong apart from the Home House Nightclub. The Home House ‘MySpace’ website has in excess of 850 under 18 teenagers using the site and conversing with each other regularly. The main topic with most of these teenagers is enquiring as to when the next Home House Blue Light Disco is going to be held. Some current committee members, including Adrian Benne (Senior

2010 - 2016


he last disco at Home House nightclub was held in 2010. Local management decided that to hold police run discos at a nightclub that was developing an adverse public perception was something that police did not need. The local BLD committee opinion was that we were hiring the nightclub venue for a set time, events were held during the week and not on weekends, they were conducted for 4 hours and finished by 10.30pm and the overall view was to promote the idea that you can attend a ‘nightclub’ venue and have a great time without the need to partake in alcohol, drugs or violence – hopefully setting the youth up with decent values for when 12

they attend overage nightclubs in the near future! A stalemate was reached, however, and no discos for under 18s have been held in Geelong since 2010. The Primary School discos have proceeded every year since 2002, however, and continued even after the disbandment of the PSIP unit – each year attracting over 3,000 students to a full week of discos over 5 days in late November. 21/12/2016 Tony M. Beard S/C 24251 Treasurer Geelong Blue Light Disco 2003 –Current

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

This Geelong Blue Light Disco ‘HISTORY’ is a rolling document that, no doubt, with have further input in the future.

Sergeant/Geelong) and Lexie Hawkins (PAO/Geelong), have been assisting in running the discos since 1992 and have been through the many stages. At this present time, as in 1987 to 1992 and 2004 to 2006, the Geelong Blue Light Discos are in ‘limbo’. However, the history of the discos over many years shows the importance of them in the development of the youth of Geelong and as such it cannot be refuted as being a positive influence on them, rather than a negative one. There are not many adults who were raised in Geelong over the past 25 years who hadn’t, at some stage of their youth, attended a Geelong Police Blue Light Disco and have positive memories resulting from them! There is little doubt that they will be up and running again at some stage. In December 2007 Blue Light Discos were given approval to once again be held at the Home House Nightclub. Two discos held in December attracted 500 and in excess of 700 teenagers. Both were well supported by members and there was no trouble at either. More discos have been approved for January 2008 and it appears that they are up and running again! 07/01/08 Tony M. Beard S/C 24251 Treasurer Geelong Blue Light Disco 2003 – Current

“The overall view was to promote the idea that you can attend a ‘nightclub’ venue and have a great time without the need to partake in alcohol, drugs or violence hopefully setting the youth up with decent values.”


WALK BESIDE ME The Walk Beside Me Program now have a group of enthusiastic Mentors who will be running the Group Mentoring sessions this year.


n February their training began, launching with a weekend camp at Blue Lights Maldon camp facility. Three staff members and seven mentors spent the weekend together forming a team through an array of games and mentor discussions. They got to know each other through fun engaging ice-breakers and bringing out their competitive side in a game of bubble soccer. Getting down to business, the team discussed their Aims, Hopes and Fears around being Mentors for the program, and visioned what difference they hope the Group Mentoring Program will have in their community and for the young mentees.

“Our Vision is to Support, Guide and Uplift the South Sudanese youth of Yarra – Learning and Growing together as a Community.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia covered Mentor responsibilities, values and behavioural guidelines creating a great space of insightful discussions, showcasing their capacity and willingness to contribute to shaping the program. Together, the mentors are planning a Community Launch of the Walk Beside Me Program next month. Lots to look forward to!

Learning communication skills and ways to work together as a team, they participated in Blue Light’s infamous ACID RIVER and CAN CARRY Challenges, solidifying the Team Agreements they had created together.

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine





hanks to the Blue Light Motorcycle Club at Beaufort! The kids loved it and felt confident knowing there was always a helper if they got stuck. Sausages for lunch and a chance to ride on the big track were a highlight. We will be back next time with more kids and parents.


National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017




astlemaine Blue Light, which has run for over 30 years will likely be going into recess after running their final Pool Disco in February, 2017. David Petrusma has recently retired from Victoria Police after a major knee injury but the branch has been unable to find another serving police member to assist Peter Lukaitis to keep the Discos going. Peter is currently in talks with Station management at Castlemaine to try and find a solution. The discos really need at least 2 police members to run for Insurance and practical purposes. The branch has also suffered with the loss of very long term committee members who wish to take a break. Very little interest from community volunteers

unfortunately means that this great crime prevention and positive policing initiative will fold. Castlemaine Blue Light Disco is still quite financial and has it's own equipment, just not enough people! Blue Light Victoria would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave Petrusma for his dedication and hard work over the past 23 ½ years. It is fantastic people such as this that keep our organisation going and making a difference in local communities. Good luck in your retirement! If you are interested in being a part of the Castlemaine Blue Light branch please feel free to call the Blue Light Victoria Operations Manager Karen Burns on 0421 992 532 or email

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS After almost ten years involvement within the Beaufort Blue Light Motorcycle Club (BBMC), club President and local Sergeant, Paul Martin is stepping down at the end of the year from the role.


re you a police member who may be interested in getting involved and taking a leadership role within the club? If so, we need you now. The BBMC has a dedicated facility comprising two motocross style tracks and clubrooms in Beaufort. The club provides a monthly ride day for young people up to and including 18 years of age. No racing, just riding. Police members, supported by dedicated community volunteers organise the event. Ride days typically see between 40 – 60 kids riding. The day commences at 10am and concludes at 2pm including stopping for a BBQ lunch. To ensure the continued operation of the club we need to find a new

police member prepared to provide leadership and coordination of activities. You do not need motorcycle experience as there are plenty of people with extensive experience involved, however, being able to ride and participate would be great. The club is well organised and is in great financial shape. Paul will provide you will all the training and support required to undertake this role which will include working directly with you to run your first few ride days. For more information please contact Sergeant Paul Martin at the Beaufort Police Station on 0353492101 or Blue Light Victoria Operations Manager Karen Burns 0421 992 532

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine





t was a great privilege to represent Blue Light Victoria at the inaugural ABC Radio Back to Blue Light event on Friday 2nd December. This event was held at the South Melbourne Town Hall and was hosted by the staff of ABC radio as a thank you to all their faithful listeners from the past year. The venue was suitably transformed within a number of hours to reflect the true heart of the traditional Blue Light disco. Mirror ball, balloons, lights, and music all added to the


atmosphere of a night to remember. As the crowd rolled in there wasn’t a teeny bopper in sight, however there was certainly the young at heart. This disco was for the listeners of ABC Radio, 40 plus

was the predictions. As a representative of Blue Light State Council it was great to see the excited faces of the ‘more mature’ generation as they filed through the doors. So many comments starting with ‘I

“So many comments starting with ‘I remember the Blue Light disco when I was younger’. The brand is famous, everyone remembers Blue Lights in their local area.”

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017


remember the Blue Light disco when I was younger’. The brand is famous, everyone remembers Blue Lights in their local area. This was no normal Blue Light though. We had celebrities rolling up. Dave O’Neil, Brian Nankervis, the Gatekeeper and Jacinta Parsons on the wheels of steel, with guest DJ sets from Red and Harriet Hashtag. There was something else different about this Blue Light as well, everyone was up and dancing, we don’t always see this with

our youngsters. It was obvious that the majority of the people present, were here to dance, and dance they did. There were some amazing costumes, ranging from the old disco outfit to the just outright strange. But nobody cared, everyone just wanted to melt back into their youth and forget about all else, and just dance away. And not a drop of alcohol in sight. Our Blue Light crew were there to spruik the products, promote the current

Blue Light brand any way possible. We were shaking money tins and selling merchandise and the crowd was very generous. In total raising $661 for the cause. Overall what a great event to be part of, so much potential to further develop the ‘adult’ Blue Light concept. We are very grateful for the crew at ABC Radio for putting on such a great event, making it memorable for everyone. Well done to all involved.

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



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FISTFUL OF CONFIDENCE: BLUE LIGHT BOXING Teaching erring youths how to punch may seem counter intuitive to some, but it’s not even half the story. The Blue Light boxing program, after a hiatus of a few years, is gaining traction among youngsters in the region.

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine




ight months in, close to 30 kids are pounding the heavy bag and shadow boxing out of the Hit Factory in Golden Square. Gym owner Danniel Burton, who opened his doors to the program without a financial incentive, said it was a common misconception teaching people to box bred violence. “It’s life changing for these kids,” said Mr Burton of the program, which is run in conjunction with Victoria Police. Around 40 similar programs are run across Victoria, and Acting Assistant Commissioner, Debra Robertson, said it was a good opportunity for police officers, who volunteered their time to the program, to interact with the state’s youth in a less formal setting.


Acting Assistant Commissioner Robertson, who is the president of Blue Light Victoria, said the organisation’s array of programs helped put purpose back into young peoples’ lives. Sergeant Adam Woods said boxing taught youngsters a number of things, including discipline, self-belief and a sense of belonging. “It gives them (youth) a sense of purpose – a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” Sergeant Woods said. For three mornings each week, Charlotte Daley has jumped out of bed. Before getting involved in boxing, Ms Daley admitted she didn’t “do much” outside of school. Boxing has given her “confidence and fitness” and a new found respect at school.

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

“Sometimes when I tell my friends I’m going to boxing I feel a little bit judged but I also feel people are intrigued as well,” she said. Amanda Richardson’s two sons are on the program, which she said gives them valuable mentoring through the volunteer police officers. “It is a good environment for building relationships,” she said. -Bendigo Advertiser 17 June, 2017 We thank the Sidney Myer Foundation for funding the 2017 program.


Charlotte Daley said the Blue Light boxing program has given her confidence.

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine


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Acting Sergeant Steve Turner.

Acting Sergeant Rob Dampier.



fter a 15-year hiatus, the Melton Blue Light Disco returned in December – so successfully, police have decided to host the much-loved event bi-monthly. Acting Sergeant Rob Dampier and Acting Sergeant Steve Turner lead up a passionate committee including

the owners of The Gap on Graham in Melton. The Gap on Graham is also hosting the running of the Blue Light Discos. “The Blue Light Disco gives young people somewhere to go in a safe environment and allows for safe and pleasant interactions with police,” said Rob.

“They see we’re human and that we’re not the ogres they sometimes perceive us to be. The feedback from everyone was that it was a roaring success.” About 60 children, aged between 7 and 12, attended the first disco at the Gap on Graham. Since then numbers have gone up over 100 which is great news.



n Friday 28th April, Wellington Proactive Unit and Heyfield Police Leading Senior Constable MATES held a free Disco from all of the Children from the local districts around Heyfield. The Disco was offered free to all attending children due to

the pending foreclosure of one of Heyfield’s largest employers being the Timber Mill. The Disco was proudly supported by Heyfield  Lions Club and the ASH Timber Mill, both donating funds for the purchase of food,  drinks , lollies and glow wear that the children were given.

Both the Heyfield Memorial Hall and our DJ Ian Horne also donated their services for free. It was a fantastic coming together of the local community and 155 children attended the night, it was great fun and the kids had a ball. Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



ALEXANDRIA SKATE DAY Saturday the 18th of March 2017 Kinglake Ranges Blue Light Inc. held a skate day at Alexandra Skate Park.


he event kicked off at 4pm and was attended by over 30 young people who enjoyed taking part in numerous activities including skateboard workshops with professional skater Cody Page. Kids spend 4 hours skating, scooting and BMX-ing without any (major) incident. Everyone enjoyed the music provided by students at Alexandra Secondary College and the wood-fired pizzas were a huge hit. This event was supported by volunteers from Alexandra Rotary, Lions Club, welfare staff at Alexandra Secondary College and community members as well as Kinglake Ranges Blue Light volunteers and local police who were all instrumental in setting up, supervising and packing up at the end of the night, not to mention showing off some great skateboarding and scooter skills! Great fun was had by everyone and Kinglake Blue Light can’t wait for the weather to warm up again so similar events can be run elsewhere in the Murrindindi Shire.


“This event was supported by volunteers from Alexandra Rotary, Lions Club, welfare staff at Alexandra Secondary College and community members as well as Kinglake Ranges Blue Light volunteers and local police.”

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017


Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine





In 2016 Ballarat Blue Light introduced a new initiative in partnership with local Ballarat primary schools with the introduction of the Blue Light Student of the Month Awards. The initiative was possible thanks to a City of Ballarat Community Impact Grant which contributed $10,000.00 to the project. By Des Hudson, Youth Resource Officer and Leading Senior Constable


he project was the brain child of Ballarat Blue Light Branch President and local Police Youth Resource Officer, Leading Senior Constable Des Hudson who adapted the initiative from the model of the Blue Ribbon Spirit of Sport Awards which also run in Ballarat. Initially, 11Â primary schools nominated to be part of the program in year 1 which has now grown to 13 primary schools this year. Each school is asked to nominate two students, one from Grade Prep to Grade 3, and then another from Grade 4 to


National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017


Grade 6, who demonstrate the following values; Positive School Attendance, Respect for School Teachers, Respect for their fellow Students, and making a Positive Contribution to the broader School Community. Each month the winners are presented with their awards by a uniformed police member who will attend at their school assembly to make the presentation in front of the whole school community. Each award winner receives a framed certificate of achievement, an engraved Blue Light

Student of the Month Medal and a Free Double Pass to an upcoming Blue Light Event. The initiative was originally designed to grow awareness and attendance at Ballarat Blue Light events by the next generation of young people coming through schools, but the award has now become a significant monthly award sought after by students in many of the schools participating. Each school uses the same fundamental criteria to decide who receives the award but might make some subtle changes to reflect their own

individual values. Feedback from School Principals has been extremely positive with students often wearing their medal proudly to school on the days following the presentation. Some winners even turn up to Blue Light events wearing their medals as well. In the 2 years the initiative has been running, 528 individual students have been recognised for their positive behaviour and all winners are now published in local Ballarat newspapers and on the various Blue Light Social Media Platforms.

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



STAY ON TRACK CAMP On the 28th of April 2017 a total of 20 local grade 5-6 students accompanied 4 police members to the Blue Light Youth Camp in Maldon.


his was part of the Melbourne North Police/Police Community Consultative Committee’s “Stay on Track camp for Kids’ program. The program was funded through the generous support of the City of Melbourne’s community grants. The children were chosen by their teachers and spent an adventure packed 3 days with local police. The aims of the camp included boosting selfconfidence, promoting teamwork, learning about police, consequences of actions, as well as learning about how to deal with bullying, and what to do if they become aware of a crime. The children participated in activities such as bike riding, rock climbing, bush

walking, visiting a gold mine, and role reversals whereby the kids got to be the police and the police got to be the kids and were given police scenarios to deal with. It was a very rewarding camp for all participants including the police. A parent contacted police shortly after the camp stating “When I asked my child if the camp had been a success, he looked at me incredulously — eyes wide open in disbelief that I even had to ask — and said "absolutely. 100%” The parent further stated “Thanks so much to everyone involved and to the Police for giving him this extraordinary opportunity. I am sure we'll all be reaping the benefits for months, if not years, to come.”

LETTER FROM A PARENT Hi, I am writing to share my family's gratitude to Nick and his colleagues who ran the camp this weekend. Our son has just talked non-stop since he arrived home an hour ago — narrating to us what an amazing time he had. When I asked if he now knew what the camp was about he said it was "definitely a courage-building camp". And when I asked if it had been a success then, he looked at me incredulously — eyes wide open in disbelief that I even had to ask — and said "absolutely, 100%. Our son is a highly social kid who easily makes friends and can give the impression that he is confident and easy going. He is also a kid who is very nervous about taking risks, suffers from intense anxiety if pushed too hard to do something he's scared of and sometimes has debilitating lack of confidence about himself as a learner.


When he first heard about the camp at his school he said he didn't think for a second he'd be selected because he knew they'd only pick the kids who know how to sit still and look like they love learning. The day he was chosen for camp was the literally one of the happiest I have ever seen him bouncing on his heels with excitement that he'd been selected. Leading up to the camp he kept counting down the days and his only anxiety was whether he'd be forced to do something scary. He really didn't want to have to ride a bike. The first story he told when he came home was of going into a mine. Then he said "you know how you wanted me to learn to ride a bike mum?" and then he burst into a huge grin telling us how quickly he learned, how he never fell and how fast he can now go. He's already planning cycling trips with his dad. I asked what the lesson was to be learned from all this and

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

he said "obviously, it's that I should have trusted myself all along and had the confidence that I would learn". Best of all he explained that although some kids teased him at some point for crying that he didn't let it bother him because he knew that was more a reflection on them not him. We are both university professors and our research overlaps with many of the ideas behind the camp. My work is on learning mindsets and his Dad's is on personal resilience. We are very aware that the gift of the camp will transcend the fun he had anticipating it and the sheer enjoyment he had on camp. Thanks so much to you everyone involved and to the Police for giving him this extraordinary opportunity. I am sure we'll all be reaping the benefits for months, if not years, to come. With gratitude, Lisa


BLUE LIGHT GOES WEST For the 10th year in 2016, six youth command and LAC police officers travelled to remote NSW with the support crew of a DJ to run Blue Light Goes West. By Michael Blaxland


hey took the Blue Light trailer on a 2000-kilometre trek during National Youth Week. Hundreds attended the dance parties which were held at Narromine, Brewarrina, Lightning Ridge, Coonamble, Gilgandra and Coonabarabran. Commander of the Youth Command, Superintendent David Scrimgeour, said

Blue Light Goes West provided young people in remote parts of NSW with entertainment in a safe, alcohol-free environment under police supervision. It also allows local community members to come together and foster positive relationships with NSW Police and the young people in their towns, he said Over the past 10 years is has been a very important

outreach by Police, through Blue Light and supported by PCYC, providing safe and fun activities for young people in the remote communities. Plans are underway for this years trek which will begin in the last  week of March and take in Nyngan, Brewarrina, Lightning Ridge, Coonamble and Gilgandra.


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National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017


October 22 marked the debut of the Barcy Mud Dash. Youths in their teens right through to adults turned out to complete a 2.4km mud dash obstacle course. By Jenny Monk State Administrator Queensland Blue Light Association Incorporated


he course was created by Barcaldine Police together with the Barcaldine Regional Council in direct response to a youth survey that police asked school goers to complete earlier in the year.

The event was a great success with not a single participant crossing the finish line without being covered head to toe in good old Barcaldine mud! All emergency services were in attendance with Queensland Fire and

Emergency Services on hand to hose down the mud slide, as well as hose off the participants before a BBQ snack was provided by Anglicare. The word on the street is they can't wait till next year! Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



PRIME MINISTERS YOUTH PROGRAM (PMYP) For the past 5 years NZ Blue Light has been involved in the Prime Ministers Youth Program, giving young people from throughout Auckland a week of exciting and challenging activities.


National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017



very year about 120 young people are selected based on their achievements, this can include moving away from low level offending, improved academic achievement or the fact that they have faced some challenges in their lives and are moving forward. From day one the group immediately formed some good friendships and this was to remain throughout the week. Despite the challenges their team work and support for each shone above all else, this proved to be the winning formula in everyone achieving the challenges and tasks that they faced. Ultimately to see the young people dressed up and looking their very best for the formal dinner with the Prime Minister was the high light to a perfect ending to the week. The group is due to catch up soon as a final farewell. This will give us the opportunity to see how the young people have been progressing and what if any changes have been made.

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



TAKE A KID FLYING Taking to the skies in a small plane doesn’t happen every day for a lot of people, but with the support of AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) its members and NZ Blue Light, young people throughout the country have been given the opportunity to experience just that.


or the past 6 years this event has been happening, weather permitting of course and giving young people the experience of a life time. From the North Shore in Auckland all the way down to the Central Lakes District in the South Island, various members from AOPA have provided up to 200 young people with an experience of flying. 34

The event is always held on the last Sunday before Easter each year, weather permitting and this year the day adorned with blue sky’s making it a great day or flying. A number of planes took to sky’s giving young people from their region an experience that will no doubt last forever. Seeing the hills and valleys below, from the mountains

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

to the seas and the feeling of flying so exhilarating. For those fortunate enough to be given the opportunity I have no doubt the experience will not be forgotten. Who knows there may be some future pilots amongst the group. Thanks AOPA and to the Pilots for their generosity in allowing this event to take place.


Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine


THE BLUE LIGHT CAMP By Electra Maisey, Year 8, Rai Valley Area School


ody (a fellow year eight) and I went to an intermediate school camp run by the police! The camp went from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. The not so secret meeting place was outside Stadium 2000. Stadium 2000 is the main swimming centre in Blenheim. We all met up at 5:00 pm. There was water and food (buns with some sort of filling and a cookie) provided. After waiting around for a while a MASSIVE bus pulled up. It had the ability to seat 42 people (not including the driver). In the back of the bus the boot was big enough for all our bags. We trooped onto the bus and stayed on there for one and a half hours (the bus was moving). On our arrival at the Lake Rotoiti lodge some of the adults came out and helped us unpack our numerous quantities of luggage into the big hall. From there we grabbed our gear and situated ourselves in the dorms, Girls upstairs, boys downstairs. We got our stuff sorted and drifted down to supper (dinner as those who aren’t Canadian call it). After stuffing our faces for a little while we were put into groups. We had to think of a name for our group. This guy called Jimmy wanted us to be called the Gucci's (pronounced guu-cheese) and I made the mistake of thinking he said goat cheese, which 36

is a mistake anyone could have made. So of course he corrected me but here is the catch, when we were having our team names written on the blackboard by a policeman called Dean, that Jimmy character said our group name and that was fine, but then my big mouth had to call out “Not to be confused with Goat cheese!”. So what did Dean do? He wrote down Goat cheese, so for the rest of the camp I was getting dirty looks from Jimmy. So that was no good. After all that drama we went down to Lake Rotoiti to feed the eels. They were so cool and massive!! We gave them loads of bread. After feeding the eels we went back to the lodge and went to bed. Unfortunately sleeping was not next on the agenda, talking for hours was! I dropped off straight away. Others, I heard were not so lucky. Eventually one of the female adults had to sleep in our room! In the morning we were rudely awakened by a girl who was worried about not passing room inspection. That’s fine and dandy. Unless it is at 6:30 in the MORNING! Since we were all wide awake there was nothing better to do than tidy up. Eventually we finished and went to breakfast which consisted of a great variety of things. I had spaghetti and toast. When we finished our food we

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

got back into our groups from the night before. We had an assignment, we had to rotate around the activities, each group at a different one. Our first station was a team work and thinking one in which we had several different tasks. The first one was where we had to get a bucket on a chair that was two metres away. But here’s the catch, there was a block of wood about 6 cm by 4 cm, and on one end was a hook and attached to the other end were four ropes. The said chair was in the centre of a large circle in which we were not allowed. There were four people blindfolded and three people instructing them. The people instructing were not allowed to touch the people who were blindfolded. Our fastest time was three seconds. We did several more activities of a team building nature on the base. Next up was a short boat ride across the lake to a waterfall. The boat ride was cool but the waterfall itself was magnificent! At 30 metres high it was absolutely majestic. After being awestruck by the waterfall we headed back across the lake and went back to the lodge. Our next challenge was that there was a rope stretched across a dorm and tied up about a metre and a half high and we had to get all our team across it using only each other and a strong plank of wood, without touching the rooftop.


If we touched the rope we had to start all over again. Our lowest number of seconds to do it in was 17 seconds. One team had done it faster than us but we had more people than them so we won! From there we went on to making our bird man. We had to make a set of wings (accessories optional) and the next morning someone would jump off the wharf. We would be judged on design and distance. Our final challenge was to do the flying kiwi. This is where one person is attached to one end of a rope and everyone else is attached to the other (we all had harnesses on in case you were wondering ) and everyone had to pull the singular person up in the air. That was really fun!

Finally it was lunchtime. We had humongous hot dogs (on buns)! They were like 40 cm long!!!! In the beverage section there was water and Raro. For the rest of the afternoon we did trust exercises. One of them was where we had to stand up on a chair and everyone else had to form a net below the person by grabbing the opposite person's wrist (right hand to right wrist and the same for left.) The person would then fall backwards into the people's arms (for all of you people who are obsessed with health and safety there was a mattress beneath the arms). That was so scary! Afterwards it was supper and then it was dessert. We stuffed our faces with apple crumble with custard and cream. Then we settled down to watch ‘Hunt For

The Wilder People’. I highly recommend that movie, it's hilarious. We eventually went to our beds and fell asleep. The next morning we had breakfast which was delicious as usual. Then we all went down to the wharf for the bird man competition. Thank goodness I wasn’t the one jumping off the wharf, the water was freezing!!! Our bird man outfit was sort of like a hang glider. Out of everyone our guy went the farthest. After that we went back to the lodge and packed up, had something to eat and got on the bus and went back to Blenheim where our parents picked us up! All in all it was an amazing camp. I really enjoyed it! If you ever have the chance to go you definitely should, it is an amazing experience!!

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine




Forty teenagers from the flood affected town of Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty Region were offered a camp experience during the final week of the Autumn school holidays.


he young people were chosen by their teachers and preference was given to those that had lost homes or who were unlikely to be able to return home for some time. The stated aim of the camp was; “to provide participants with a variety of safe and fun recreational experiences to support them and in turn their whanau in this time of need”. Based on the high level of participation in the camp and the activities provided, direct feedback from the participants and their parents and the smiles and stories shared during the


3 day camp, it could be easily measured as highly successful and that the proposed aim was achieved. Much of this achievement can be credited to the agencies involved in the organising, resourcing and delivery of the programme. The high level of support, both practical and financial provided immediately by Edgecumbe College, Oranga Tamariki, New Zealand Police and Whakatane Blue Light ensured that the identified needs of the Edgecumbe Community could be met quickly. Thus the resulting camp was able to be organised with

National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

the necessary resourcing to be delivered in a safe, fun manner that appealed to and met the needs of the large group of young people that took part. Support and discounts from businesses in Rotorua and Taupo were also well received and meant that additional activities could be added. Staff believe the camp was a great example of how both statutory agencies and the not for profit sector can work effectively to improve outcomes for vulnerable young people and their whanau.


FEEDBACK FROM PARTICIPANTS AND ADULTS Vicky Richards (Mother) “Thank you so much Blue Light Whakatane team and helpers for coordinating the camp for Edgecumbe youth. My daughter came back very happy and enjoyed the trip, this was just what was needed!” Posted on Blue Light Facebook Page

Trish Morris (Police Constable that took part) “It was a great way for the kids who are living through the Edgecumbe flood to be with other peers who are going through the same thing and assist them to talk about what happened. They all seemed to take it in their stride and enjoy the chance to get away from it all, especially the stress their parents are under to sort things out.”

Winter 2017 National Blue Light Magazine



Leo “It was a nice get away from cleaning and waiting on insurance for things and it was enjoyable. It would’ve been better if there was a more personal down time and it would’ve been nice if it was longer even if it meant we did the same amount of stuff just spread out more.”

Brandon “This was a great trip away. Good to get away from all the drama back at home in Edgecumbe.”


National Blue Light Magazine Winter 2017

Jaydyn“What was good was the experience and being able to get away from my parents.”

Jayden “Was a great trip, best weekend I’ve had in a long time, thank U.”

Niketa “Was definitely a good trip.”

Te Wharau “I loved it.”

James “The camp was wicked but would’ve been better if it was far longer, the accommodation was good, bonus was we didn’t have to pay.”

Dane “The whole thing was amazing.”

Calais “It was fun.”

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Blue Light Winter 2017  
Blue Light Winter 2017