As the lead agency for counter terrorism in NSW, the police are keen to improve police understanding of community concerns relating to the terrorism powers, and to increase community understanding of the terrorism arrangements in NSW.
The Engagement Intervention Unit was formed within the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command to actively engage with the community to promote positive working relationships, develop community partnerships, and increase understanding of NSW Police Force counter terrorism response arrangements. The unit acts as a conduit for communication between the NSW Police Force Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command and communities to improve the NSW Police understanding of, and response to, community issues and concerns arising from the exercise of the counter terrorism laws.
The Engagement Intervention Unit is available to attend meetings, forums, and other activities to:
- develop relationships and regular dialogue with community groups and leaders
- provide advice and information on NSW Police Force counter terrorism response arrangements
- provide a conduit for the community to express their views on counter terrorism policing and other terrorism related matters of community concern
- develop opportunities for communities and police to learn about each other's needs, experiences and expectations
- support appropriate local community initiatives to reduce the threat of extremism and terrorism
- address issues of hate crimes arising from the current terrorism environment.
Maintaining community harmony
The NSW Government has a range of initiatives in place to help protect and build resilience within the community in relation to countering terrorism. These range from security measures to engaging with the community to improve understanding and cooperation, building resilience and empowering communities to counter the influence of violent extremism, and promoting the benefits of living in a peaceful, harmonious multicultural society.
NSW Police Force community engagement
The NSW Police Force Engagement Intervention Unit engages with community groups on terrorism related issues. The unit aims to increase community awareness of counter terrorism arrangements and to build police understanding of their impacts on the community. In addition, there are other NSW Police Force programs in place to encourage tolerance and mutual respect such as the community liaison officers in local area police offices.
Multicultural NSW community engagement
Multicultural NSW plays a lead role in building and maintaining a cohesive and harmonious multicultural society which enriches the lives of all the people of NSW. Multicultural NSW is engaged in a number of activities aimed at empowering communities in their efforts to counter violent extremism and addressing the impacts of terrorism and violent extremism on social cohesion.
The Multicultural NSW Act 2000 underpins the work of Multicultural NSW. The Act recognises that all individuals in NSW, irrespective of their linguistic, religious or ancestral backgrounds, should demonstrate a unified commitment to Australia, its interests and future, and should recognise the importance of shared values governed by the rule of law within a democratic framework.
The following initiatives are examples of the work of Multicultural NSW in this area:
- Community Engagement Strategy
- Community Relations Crisis Management Plan
- The Point Magazine
- Interpreting and Translation
More information can be found at the Multicultural NSW website.
Community Engagement Strategy and Regional Advisory Councils
Developed under the Multicultural NSW Strategic Plan 2014-17: Harmony in Action, the Multicultural NSW Community Engagement Strategy aims to ensure up to date knowledge of current community issues and concerns. The Multicultural NSW Symposium is an annual event, attracting people from government, non government organisations, universities and community leaders to discuss and consult on issues relevant to social cohesion and community harmony. The Multicultural Youth Network meets regularly and hosts networking evenings throughout the year to discuss priority issues for young people.
Regional Advisory Councils are links with rural and regional communities across NSW. The composition of Regional Advisory Councils reflects the diversity of the local communities concerned and includes representatives of relevant local or regional agencies, community organisations or individuals. A range of other multicultural councils and consultative forums also respond to community concerns.
Community Relations Crisis Management Plan
Under the Multicultural NSW Act 2000, Multicultural NSW has a legislated function to provide a single coordination point for integrated responses to emerging issues associated with cultural diversity. The NSW Community Relations Crisis Management Plan details the arrangements for a coordinated response by NSW state agencies to the local impact on the relationships between people and communities that may occur as a result of local and international events. A review of the NSW Community Relations Crisis Management Plan forms part of the Multicultural NSW strategic workplan under the Multicultural NSW Strategic Plan 2014-17: Harmony in Action, which will develop strategies to address the impact of overseas conflicts and issues on local communities in NSW.
The Point Magazine
The monthly online Multicultural NSW publication The Point Magazine is a leading source of accessible public information, news and current affairs relating to violent extremism and its impact on community harmony in Australia. The magazine draws on the expertise and opinions of governments, community and religious leaders, young people, the media, and academia from across Australia, facilitating collaboration, dialogue and informed debate across these sectors. The magazine has a particular focus on the domestic implications of overseas conflicts and showcases the benefits of living in a peaceful, harmonious multicultural society. The magazine supports a volunteer youth journalism program to empower young voices to address issues threatening community harmony in Australia today.
Interpreting and Translation
Multicultural NSW provides interpreting and translation services in 106 languages and dialects (including Auslan) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The services are available to all Government departments and agencies, private and commercial organisations, community groups and individuals.
Face-to-face interpreting is provided in areas such as legal situations, police investigations, education, housing, licence testing, insurance matters, business negotiations as well as individual and/or client-group interviews, workshops and seminars.
Translation services are provided for all documents including multilingual pamphlets/brochures and audio/video recordings. Most translations and interpreting services are on a user-pays basis, with exemption granted on a needs basis.
For bookings and further enquiries contact 1300 651 500 for the cost of a local call anywhere in NSW. Website: NSW Multicultural website