Shoalhaven police have held an at times emotional farewell for the coordinator of the YWCA Nowra Domestic Violence Intervention Service, Sue Davies.
For 12 years Ms Davies has been the driving force behind the “ground breaking” service which has continually been identified as the benchmark in dealing with domestic violence and its victims.
During a special morning tea at the Nowra Police Station, Shoalhaven Local Area Command Acting Superintendent Joe Thone described Ms Davies as inspirational.
“You are part of the family, part of the police family and we will be sad to see you go,” he said.
“For 12 years you have been well entrenched in that family.
“On behalf of the police I must thank you for all your help and all the help you provided to women and families escaping domestic violence.
“Your work over many years has been much appreciated.”
Nowra Magistrate Gabriel Fleming also paid credit to Ms Davies, saying working in the area of domestic violence was never easy.
“I have seen you supporting women in court and in the safe room, often in very difficult circumstances where they are distressed and anxious,” Magistrate Fleming said.
“I could see the faith they were putting in you and the support they gained from your presence at that really confronting time.
“I have frequently heard court staff, prosecutors and others sing your praises.
“It is emotionally draining. It is sometimes hard to keep perspective and to remind ourselves that the cases we are dealing with are not typical of our community.
“You have been able to do that for a long time and also have continued to give back, in spades.”
She also highlighted the mention Ms Davies received from the CEO of the YWCA, Anna Bligh when the scheme got funding.
“Special mention to Sue Davies, YWCA NSW Coordinator of the Nowra Domestic Violence Intervention Service, and her team for their amazing commitment to helping community members protect themselves” Ms Bligh said.
Magistrate Fleming said Ms Davies always put her clients first.
“You have always kept me informed of how the service was going and of the new and innovative ways in which it was progressing,” she said.
Ms Davies agreed the co-operation between then Nowra-based service and local police was “like a family”.
“When the Domestic Violence Intervention Service first came into place there was some opposition,” she said.
“But I would like to thank everyone who embraced this service.
“It has set the benchmarks and we have all worked towards safe outcomes for victims of domestic violence.
“We have all worked together to get these outcomes.
“I appreciate so many of you for your support. I know at times I have been a pain in the arse to some of you and I don't apologise for that.
“But we could not have achieved what we have without the support of police.
“Many of you have gone above and beyond to support us and I appreciate that.”
She said the collaboration between the service and police had been able to achieve in the Shoalhaven what is regarded as the best practice model in the country.
“As for leaving, it is what it is,” she said.
“I really appreciate what everyone has done over the past 12 years.
“Ninety-eight per cent of the officers here now embrace this program and help the team to do their jobs and I’m so grateful for that.”