Ipswich’s oldest Neighbourhood Watch group continues to shape home suburb

Members of Ipswich’s oldest Neighbourhood Watch group are working to change the perceptions of the suburb they serve.
Launched in 1988, Riverview Neighbourhood Watch represents residents with a commitment to reducing crime and supporting the community.

The group meets monthly and liaises with police to help improve the quality of life for people of all ages, religions and cultural backgrounds.

Area coordinator Duchense Broad said Riverview Neighbourhood Watch continued to encourage interaction and community cohesion in its 30th year.

“It’s important to remember that we are all about crime prevention, not apprehension,” Mrs Broad said.

“We’re actively involved in council projects like Beautiful Ipswich, we host events and have walkers who pick up rubbish and we’re also a source of suburban news.

“We connect people more than anything – schools, sports groups, childcare centres, community services, businesses – you name it.”

Census data from 2016 showed Riverview was home to more than 3,070 people with a median age of 38.

Unemployment was 15.7 per cent, compared to 6.9 per cent nationally.

The data also showed Riverview’s average weekly household income was $932, down from the Australian average of $1,438.

A total of 52.4 per cent of dwellings were rented, well above the 30.9 per cent national mark.

While acknowledging the challenges facing the suburb, Mrs Broad said Riverview Neighbourhood Watch was building pride in an eclectic and engaged community.

Division 3 Councillor Kerry Silver with Riverview Neighbourhood Watch members Duchense Broad, Amanda Draheim and Jocelyne Harris.

“Riverview has had a bit of a bad name over the years but it’s our home and our suburb and we’re the only ones who can correct the stigma that is attached to the area,” she said.

“We have a really passionate base of long-term renters and people who bought here 30 to 40 years ago and are loud and proud Riverview-ittes.

“We’re sitting pretty in Riverview and we love it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Riverview Neighbourhood Watch produces a monthly newsletter that is delivered to more than 1,200 homes and businesses.

Members attend school fetes and other community events and will host Muscle in Maculata, a celebration of motor vehicles, markets and music, on Sunday, 15 April from 10am to 2pm.

“In recent years we have reinvigorated Riverview Neighbourhood Watch and it’s even more relevant in this digital age when people are spending so much time on social media,” Mrs Broad said of the group’s longevity.

“I’d say to people from all suburbs, not just Riverview, make an effort to get to know your neighbours.

“The benefits will be long lasting and can have a genuine impact across the wider Ipswich community.”

For more information on Riverview Neighbourhood Watch go here.

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