1983 – Neighbourhood Watch begins in Victoria

Neighbourhood Watch is a community policing organisation found in many countries – it is more concerned with observing and reporting crimes than with directly preventing them (for example, through vigilante action). It is widely believed that it acts as a disincentive to criminals and lowers crime rates in the areas where it takes place.

The Victorian incarnation of this organisation began in Frankston, a suburb of Melbourne, with cooperation between community members and the local police. The project was quickly declared a success and rapidly spread to other areas of the state and the rest of Australia.

Its actual utility – and somewhat dubious motivations – are still matters of considerable debate, not least due to the difficulty of statistically proving the cause of a thing not happening.

Referenced in:
Neighbourhood Watch — My Friend The Chocolate Cake

1949 – Ben Chifley makes the ‘Light on the Hill’ speech

Ben Chifley is probably most remembered for two things: his serious efforts to implement some of the more socialist ideals of the Australian Labor Party, and this speech. Both, ultimately, come from the same wellspring: Chifley’s compassionate idealism.

He is also the only Australian Prime Minister never to have lived at the Lodge, and the only Labor Prime Minister to have sent the troops in to break a strike – and one from a communist trade union, at that.

I haven’t talked much at all about the speech here, for one very simple reason: I think you should read it yourself.

Referenced in:
Neighbourhood Watch – My Friend The Chocolate Cake