The announcement of a royal commission into the sexual explotation of children has been welcomed by Bikers United Against Child Abuse, a new group of motorcyclists committed to protecting young people from harm.FIONA BROOM November 14, 2012 4:50am
Bikers United Against Child Abuse members Steve Bond, Warren Dempsey, Brett Wiefkers, Ross Biggin and Peter White support victims in court.
No child should live in fear.
That’s the creed of Bikers United Against Child Abuse, a newly-formed group of men and women with a commitment to motorcycles and protecting children from harm.
Following Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement a royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse would be held, the ‘‘keepers of the children’’ yesterday said victim support groups had been calling for an inquiry for years.
But they said any investigation into Australia’s endemic problems with child abuse was a good thing — as long as recommendations were followed and abusers charged.
President Peter White said the group formed in July as the north-central Victorian branch of what was becoming an international movement, but had essentially come to represent all of Victoria.
He said the original idea was to form a group to help young people, who he often came across on the streets with his Echuca security business.
But they soon signed on to Bikers United Against Child Abuse, founded in Australia in 2001.
Now there are 13 members across the north-east, with about another 50 people across Australia keen to sign on.
The group provides support to child victims, particularly in court when they are forced to face their perpetrators or in other intimidating or embarrassing situations, and raises awareness about the issue.
‘‘The perpetrators always have heaps of friends and family behind them because they think they’re being picked on,’’ Mr White said.
‘‘The families have got no-one and sometimes there’s not even family.’’
Member Warren Dempsey said at their first court hearing seven bikers went to support the victim.
He said their presence was queried three times by police.
‘‘We’re not a vigilante group, we’re there to support victims and bring awareness,’’ he said.
The bikers lamented what they saw as a rise in abuse in Australia.
They voiced concerns child abuse would become more common and more destructive.
‘‘Every time you pick up a paper these days it’s abuse, abuse, abuse,’’ Steve Bond said.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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