On this page

  • A staged approach to supporting the community safety
  • Project progress timeline
  • Building Safer Communities Forum
  • Coordinating organisation
  • Action Group established
  • Common goal
  • Projects in progress

A staged approach to supporting the community safety

Empowering communities brings the community together to listen and respond to community concerns and ideas on how to tackle local issues that impact on crime and safety. The program is implemented in stages over a three year period.

Project progress timeline

The timeline shows that the common goal is now agreed


Building Safer Communities Forum

The Knox Forum was held in May 2022, building on the collective wisdom the community and local stakeholders to consider issues that impact people in Knox. The key themes identified were:

  • safety both at home and in public areas
  • community connection and inclusion
  • cultural awareness and respect
  • reducing substance abuse and associated harm
  • supporting positive mental health.

Watch the Knox Community Safety Forum video:

Coordinating organisation

Empowering Communities in Knox is coordinated by Knox City Council. You can contact the Action Group at: Helen.Wositzky@knox.vic.gov.au (External link)

Action Group established

The Knox Action Group was established in April 2022, bringing together key services, community members and other stakeholders. The Action Group is responsible for connecting the initiative to the broader community and overseeing its implementation.

Knox Action Group members

The following organisations and stakeholders are represented on the Action Group:

  • Knox City Council
  • Fern Tree Gully Village Traders Association
  • Sri Swaminarayan Temple
  • Eastern Domestic Violence Outreach Service (EDVOS)
  • EACH
  • Fairhills Secondary School
  • Victoria Police
  • Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Knox Learning Alliance
  • Local community leaders from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • Neighbourhood Watch

Common goal

To connect people to enhance safety in Ferntree Gully, with four key project priorities:

  • Respect for self and others: promoting respect in the way we relate to each other.
  • Young people and their families: building resilience and life skills in young people and those who support them.
  • Friendly neighbourhoods: reducing social isolation and fostering positive connections with those living around us.
  • Belonging to community: taking pride in our local community and celebrating what it means to belong.

Projects in progress

Ferntree Gully Safety Outreach Project

Organisation: Foothills Community Care

Grant funding: $207,355

A strength-based partnership building project that looks at local issues involving traders and marginalised local communities. The project addresses social isolation through outreach and co-designed approaches involving:

  • marginalised residents
  • local traders
  • community support services, and
  • local police.

The Youth Engagement for Success (Yes) Project

Organisation: Mountain District Learning Centre

Grant funding: $46,500

The project will work with young people in Ferntree Gully who live with social anxiety disorders. The project has a focus on building resilience and life skills for young people and their families/carers. The goal is to provide activities and experiences that will support social, emotional and educational development, increasing young people’s potential to succeed and reducing their vulnerability to harmful influences, ongoing disengagement and isolation.

Knox Nocturnals Youth Group Project

Organisation: Rotary Club of Ferntree Gully

Grant funding: $112,655

The project is a social inclusion program for young people from Ferntree Gully who are vulnerable, isolated and considered at potential risk. The project focus is on connecting the following groups in a safe and inclusive environment:

  • young people
  • volunteers
  • parents
  • carers
  • youth workers
  • Victoria Police
  • support services.

This includes providing meals transport and a variety of activities. The 12-month project will deliver life skills workshops to:

  • increase confidence, trust and self-esteem, and
  • reduce the likelihood of negative influence and anti-social behaviour.

The project will also incorporate parenting support workshops as opportunities are identified through interaction with parents and carers.

Cultural Connections

Organisation: Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place

Grant funding: $20,000

The project supports the activation of the HV Jones Community Room in Ferntree Gully as the new Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place, embedding the gathering place into the broader Ferntree Gully community. The project will run a series of public events and activities. Events will include:

  • Welcoming to Country
  • sporting events
  • cultural performances and activities
  • meet and greet barbeques for indigenous and non-indigenous communities
  • a community family day during Naidoc Week.

The objectives are:

  • to build awareness of the new location
  • to establish connections and positive relationships between First Nations and non-indigenous communities
  • to increase cultural connection and understanding, and
  • to reduce racism and discrimination.