Home' The River News : June 13th 2019 Contents The River News, Thursday, June 13, 2019 – 3
A PROMINENT Waikerie resident
has been honoured with the Order
of Australia medal for her service to
the community, particularly through
Lynette Nitschke said she was “very sur-
prised” when she received the news.
“There are a lot of people, not just in the
Riverland but throughout the country, who
do a lot more than I do,” she said.
“I’m very grateful to whoever put my
name forward, and humbled that I was con-
sidered worthy to receive such an honour.”
Mrs Nitschke founded the Homicide
Victims Support Group (HVSG) in 1994
after her daughter, Allison, was murdered
in Adelaide in September, 1991.
Mrs Nitschke said little support for ho-
micide victims’ families was available in
the state at the time, which made it “very
difficult” to cope with the trauma and pro-
cesses faced after a homicide.
“Our sons were still quite young when
Allison was killed and my husband, Terry,
and I didn’t want our grief to have a detri-
mental effect on their lives,” she said.
“So we wanted support to understand
how to help them.
“We wanted to talk to other survivors
of homicide but there were no support
groups in SA at the time, so we spoke to a
councillor from Victims of Crime Service
“With his help, the Homicide Victim
Support Group was launched at the World
Victimology Conference in Adelaide in
“We had 15 family members attend
our first meeting and it has continued for
almost 25 years.”
The group has three aims: support, edu-
cate, and reform. Mrs Nitschke said some
members chose to be involved in helping
to educate people from other services and
areas they come into contact with – such as
police, courts and media – on better ways to
support families affected by homicide.
“We educate our members by inviting
guest speakers to our meetings to explain
the processes and help us understand,” she
While its main purpose is to support
victims of homicide, some members choose
to educate themselves on court proceedings
and technicalities for homicide cases, while
others choose to educate others – media,
police and offenders – about speaking to and
supporting homicide victims.
The group has seen a number of state
laws passed – notably the right for homicide
victims to write and read their own victim
impact statements before court.
Mrs Nitschke said before the law was
changed, police would write and read the
victim impact statement, and she was
against strangers speaking for her family.
“We were fortunate to be the first people
to have our personal statements accepted
by the judge, therefore allowing others to
follow,” she said.
“A few years later, after I spoke to our
then-member for Chaffey Karlene May-
wald, she had the legislation drawn up and
presented to parliament, to allow victims to
read their own statements if they wished,
which was passed.”
Along with other agencies, Mrs Nitschke
said HVSG also lobbied for ‘truth in sen-
tencing’ legislation to be changed.
“‘Truth in sentencing’ was essentially
the ‘good behaviour bond’ deal: if offend-
ers didn’t cause trouble while serving their
sentence, a third of it would be cut off,”
“HVSG did not agree with this.
“We wanted the offenders to serve the
sentence that was handed down to them by
a judge before they were eligible for parole.
“We also saw a 20-year minimum non-pa-
role period legislation introduced for people
convicted of murder, but this is currently
Mrs Nitschke said while the group had
achieved many goals and helped countless
people, she started it for a personal reason.
“I did it for Allison and the boys as I
wanted something good to come out of Al-
lison’s death and to help others,” she said.
“I did it so her death was not in vain, so
that her life continues and helps others.
“The group is a safe place for homicide
victims to come – they can be angry, sad or
happy without any judgement from other
“One of the hardest things for people to
understand is how difficult it is to ‘get on’
with your life after any tragedy as you ac-
tually have to rebuild a new life, and that
takes many years.
“HVSG is there to support all those
Mrs Nitschke has also been involved in
many volunteer and community groups lo-
cally, such as Caroline Bristow Wig Library,
Riverland; Waikerie and District Flower
Show; Waikerie Neighbourhood Watch;
Meals on Wheels; Waikerie Cemetery Com-
mittee; Legatee to Legacy Widows; member
of Attorney General Victim Advisory Com-
Her previous awards and recognition
include Citizen of the Year, District Coun-
cil of Loxton Waikerie, 2016; Riverland
Citizen of the Year, 2017; Neighbourhood
Watch, Regional Watcher of the Year’, 2011;
Victim Support Service, Victim Worker of
the Year’, 2008.
Mrs Nitschke said she was “very grate-
ful” for the support she and her family have
received over the years.
“I have had a lot of amazing experi-
ences over the years, sharing journeys with
people through HVSG, but also in Waikerie,
with the wonderful community we have
here,” she said.
Community Club Community Supported
Crush Terrace, Waikerie | 8541 2899
Friday Members Draw
Happy hour 4-8pm
Members must be present
Meat tray raffle
Saturday Bar Lunch
with chips and salad
Bread and butter pudding
free entry - 8pm until late
KEY BARREL DRAW
$1000 | 10 keys
5 tickets for $10
Do you have
We have experienced
in the area,
please call for a
Call 8633 5400
0458 028 628
Close of Nominations
Supplementary Election of Councillor
for Shearer Ward
At the close of nominations at 12 noon on
Thursday 6 June 2019 the following people were
accepted as candidates and are listed in the order
in which they will appear on the ballot paper.
Councillor for Shearer Ward - 1 Vacancy
The election will be conducted by post. Ballot
papers and pre-paid envelopes for each voting
entitlement will be posted between Tuesday
18 June 2019 and Monday 24 June 2019 to every
person, or designated person of a body corporate
or group listed on the voters roll at roll close on
Tuesday 30 April 2019. Voting is voluntary.
A person who has not received voting material
by Monday 24 June 2019 and believes they
are entitled to vote should contact the Deputy
Returning Officer on 08 7424 7400.
Completed voting material must be returned to
reach the Returning Officer no later than 12 noon
on Monday 8 July 2019.
A ballot box will be provided at the Mannum
council office, 49 Adelaide Road, Mannum
and the Cambrai council office, Main Street,
Cambrai for electors wishing to hand deliver their
completed voting material during office hours.
Vote Counting Location
The scrutiny and counting of votes will take
place at the Mannum Council Office as soon
as practicable after 12 noon on Monday 8 July
2019. A provisional declaration will be made at
the conclusion of the election count.
Campaign Donations Return
All candidates must forward a Campaign Donations
Return to the Council Chief Executive Officer
within 30 days after the conclusion of the election.
‘Humbled and grateful’:
Lynette’s national honour
NOTABLE Waikerie resident Lynette Nitschke was
recently honoured with the Order of Australia medal
for her service through victim support. She is pictured
holding a photograph of her late daughter, Allison,
at a mural Allison painted at Waikerie High School.
PHOTO: Erin Williams
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