Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott today praised the decision of the NSW Government to educate young offenders who desecrate war memorials by sending them to work with their local veteran’s communities.
Mr Elliott said the move to educate young offenders would promote a better understanding of the ANZAC legend.
“For many young people, history is often perceived as just facts and figures in books,” Mr Elliott said.
“However, history is more than that, and this programme will ensure that young people can work alongside those who have bled and fought for our nation.”
Castle Hill RSL Sub-branch President Don Tait said that he believed the NSW Government was pursuing a constructive approach to protecting war memorials.
“This is a good initiative and one I support,” Colonel Tait said.
“I am confident that no one in the Hills would damage a War Memorial, but for those in the wider community who do, I hope they learn exactly what it is they are desecrating.”
Under the plan, offenders who have damaged or desecrated War Memorials could be required to undertake voluntary work with the RSL. Activities offenders may undertake includes:
- Volunteering with the Corps of Guards
- Assisting the ANZAC Memorial Guardians with Memorial tours
- Interacting with visitors
The proposal involves offenders convicted of offences under Section 8 of the Summary Offences Act 1988 “Damaging or desecrating protected places”, participating in a program that would involve the offenders volunteering with the Corp of Guards at the Hyde Park ANZAC Memorial. Juvenile offenders could participate as an outcome of existing Youth Justice Conferences, and adult offenders could also participate as an outcome of Forum Sentencing.