Senior Constable Ian Edwards
As a member of the Tasmania Police Early Intervention & Youth Action Unit, Senior Constable Ian Edwards helped transform his local community of Burnie. In May 2008, Ian identified a number of negative issues affecting young people in the Burnie area. To help improve the life choices for young people and their families, Ian successfully implemented and continues to coordinate a collaborative after school program which is now known as Shorewell Park Kommunity Kids.
Through sheer hard work and conviction Ian has created a safe and accepting environment that today attracts up to 200 children and their families, with 60 on a regular basis to the Shorewell-based after school program. Kommunity Kids offers a free BBQ along with structured games and sporting activities alongside youth service providers, police, young people and their families in a safe environment. Kommunity Kids has helped to develop positive friendships between children, their families and police. Service Providers in a number of other communities have adopted Ian’s model of Kommunity Kids, these include the communities of East Devonport, Wivenhoe, Rosebery and Zeehan on the West Coast of Tasmania.
The Shorewell Park Kommunity Kids Program has been recognised both on a state and national level, most recently in the Australian Crime & Violence Prevention Awards 2011 & Community Achievement Awards Tas - Qew Orchards Outstanding Achiever Award 2010. Ian received the Tasmania Local Hero 2011 award and was the Tasmanian recipient in the Commonwealth Bank Launching Local Heroes Program 2011 for his dedication to Kommunity Kids and his work within the Youth Intervention arena.
Ian is extremely dedicated to his work and to making a positive difference in the lives of the families and young people in his local community. He is also an ambassador for the White Ribbon Foundation, a Board Member with the Burnie Community House and Burnie PCYC, a Mentor for the White Lion Organisation and an occasional volunteer with City Mission.
Ian was born and grew up in the suburbs of Western Sydney and his passion for work derives from the positive adult role models he had in these formative years of his life. Without these influences, Ian doesn’t believe he would be where he is today. Ian sees his work as a way of paying forward the positive investment others made in him, hopefully making a difference in the lives of the young people, families and clients he has the privilege of working with.
Ian takes inspiration from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”