Pt'chang is an Australian Nonviolent Community Safety Group conducting a wide range of dynamic and creative violence-prevention, peace-building and community safety initiatives. Our aim is to assist community groups and grassroots organisations create safety in a variety of areas and situations. Based in Melbourne, Victoria, Pt'chang is an all-volunteer, not for profit, independent community group that has five basic functions:
Pt'chang is inclusive group that is open to anybody interested in it's aims, committed to the use of consensus and to the application of nonviolent approaches to conflict and violence.
Pt'chang volunteers are trained in nonviolent peacekeeping skills, mediation, first aid, responding to sexual assault and drug and alcohol harm minimisation strategies. Pt'chang involves people of all ages, and with a diverse range skills and experience in areas including community development, community health, social work, conflict resolution, counselling, psychology and social change movements. No experience is necessary to be involved in Pt'chang.
Pt'chang uses co-operative and "power-with" processes to help create safety in ways that empower and bring people together. We are committed to active nonviolence, responding to all situations and parties with an open mind and respecting the value and shared humanity of every person.
Pt'chang is an open and inclusive group. We attempt to liaise and build relationships with all groups and maintain a neutral stance in relation to conflicts or differences between groups and individuals. This neutrality reflects our role as mediators in some situations. We seek to remain accountable and responsible to the all parts of the wider community.
Meetings:- Pt'chang has fortnightly meetings on Wednesday evenings at the Pt 'chang office in Fitzroy, in Melbourne's inner-north. This is the main decision making forum within Pt'chang. These meetings are open to all and use consensus decision-making processes. To find out when the next meeting is contact us.
Trainings:- Pt'chang runs Nonviolent Community Safety and Peacekeeping training's and a range of other safety related workshops for people wishing to volunteer for Pt'chang projects. Workshops can be one-day or two-day duration. Contact us for more information about upcoming training.
Safety and Peacekeeping Teams:- Volunteers who have completed 20 hours (two day) Peacekeeping training are required for Pt'chang's Safety and Peacekeeping Teams whenever they are organised. Notice is usually given in the Pt'chang newsletter or via a ring around.
If you would like to be involved in Pt'chang as a volunteer, attend a training workshop, receive our newsletter or would like more information please contact us.
If you or your group wishes to book Pt'chang for peacekeeping at an event, a workshop on community safety, a talk or simply for a consultation please contact us by phone, email, snail mail or by coming to one of our meetings. Please book at least one month in advance, to avoid disappointment.
Peacekeeping Teams can include First Aid, radio communications, police liaison, counselling, support, debriefing and referral. The Peacekeeping and safety needs for each event are worked out in consultation with the organising body prior to the event. Pt'chang also offers peacekeeping training to people involved in a event or organisation so that the group is more able to create its own safety.
Pt'chang seeks to promote and extend the idea that communities of people can create safety themselves. Pt'chang asserts that every person has a basic right to feel safe at all times and that all of us share responsibility for creating safety in our lives and communities.
Pt'chang sees safety as pro-active - the creation of space where all people can express and experience their life to the fullest - that it is possible to create safety powerfully and nonviolently. It is not something that we should leave to somebody else or to "the authorities" but something that all of us can do something about.
Nonviolent Community Safety describes approaches to safety that are community initiated and controlled. It is much more of an "opening-up" and community building process than the common "lock-up" and "power-over" responses to safety that tend to dominate in our society.
Peace-building and Peace-keeping are powerful ways of creating safety, intervening in and resolving conflict, interrupting actual violence and controlling our own space.
Peace-building initiatives are usually pro-active. They can aim to facilitate communication and dialogue between parties, seek to 'humanise' the perceptions parties have of each other and help make creative and alternative processes for resolving conflict, possible.
Nonviolent peacekeeping is applied when violence or high levels of aggression is evident. As a form of nonviolent intervention it uses strategies and methods that are safe, effective, creative, empowering, non-heroic, and that do not escalate the overall level of violence or victimisation.
Peacekeeping skills can be used by individuals in many contexts but also applied by trained and co-ordinated groups of people in situations that are particularly unsafe or when violence is anticipated. Pt'chang uses nonviolent peacekeeping strategies in the context of co-ordinated and planned community safety teams which involve other safety, counselling, alcohol and other drug and violence-prevention strategies.
Nonviolent Peacekeeping is a way of creating safety at events, festivals, actions, protests and political events that is often the most consistent with the aims of the social change group or of the movement as a whole. Actions which challenge prevailing conditions or injustices can seek to create safety and resolve conflict in ways that are just, peaceful, culturally appropriate and nonviolent by developing peacekeeping strategies. Trained groups of Peacekeepers form very viable and effective, community-initiated alternative to allowing police or private security to control our 'space' for us.