The winner of the 2016 Crime Stoppers WA Graffiti Action Challenge was awarded a $600 cash prize, which was presented by Crime Stoppers WA CEO Kim Harrison at a school assembly.

Zoe Savidis tackled the problem of graffiti at its source. She created a website called “Graffiti Helpsite” which allowed graffiti vandals to talk anonymously to volunteers or members of the community about their problems and issues. This website also offered urban art classes and monthly events which would give graffiti vandals an opportunity to use their skills in a positive way and help them move away from illegal activities.

Zoe and her Year 7 classmates from Rossmoyne Senior High School also enjoyed a colourful, hands-on workshop with well-known performance artist Phil Doncon, to create a mural painting, which they had designed, at their school.

The Graffiti Action Challenge was a free competition open to all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 across WA. Students were invited to create and design practical solutions that would help limit graffiti and raise awareness of the important role that every person can play in reducing this type of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in our community.

Students who entered the competition presented their ideas in a wide range of formats including posters, websites, animation videos, quizzes, leaflets, newspapers, PowerPoint presentations, songs and plasticine models.

Some of the students’ ideas to prevent graffiti included community art groups and paint spaces, support groups and online forums, a graffiti camp to turn vandals into urban artists, social chalk boards for public feedback, employing the homeless in graffiti clean-ups, a spray paint licence, increased penalties for graffiti vandalism and mobile phone apps to report graffiti locations.

“The judges were impressed with the quality of entries and ideas recommended by participating students” said Kim Harrison.

The project was funded by a State Graffiti Fund grant from WA Police. It integrates with the approved civics and citizenship module of the Crime Stoppers schools program and supports the Australian Curriculum.