Police and local Aboriginal leaders are taking a cultural approach to educate youths about the dangers of rock-throwing in hopes it will slow the scourge in the community as reports continue to rise. Geraldton police have revealed there were 33 reports of rock-throwing in Geraldton since November last year. Of those, two people have been injured while travelling in a moving vehicle. With support from Wadjarri, coastal Mardudthunerra and Yindjibarndi woman Priscilla Papertalk, youths are being taught to respect the land. Ms Papertalk is the Aboriginal custodianship program co-ordinator for the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC NRM) in Geraldton. As part of her work, Ms Papertalk and her team are using a cultural approach to address rock-throwing in the community by sharing a spiritual story about rocks and their link to Elders and culture. She explains the spirits of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed on return as part of the land, and we all need to respect the land because it is tied to spirits. “Don’t pick up rocks because they’ve got spiritual connections is the message,” Ms Papertalk said. “Some of our kids haven’t been taught enough about their culture. When they learn about their culture, they build respect for the land, and land will respect them. If we look after country, country will look after us.” Mid West-Gascoyne police district Supt. Steve Post said as well as traditional methods of crime prevention, officers have teamed with Ms Papertalk to help send a strong message to youths. “We have looked for a cultural connection to the rock-throwing issue and with the help of Priscilla Papertalk, we think we have found it and will use that to encourage kids to think before they pick up rocks,” he said. Another way police are hoping to reduce rock-throwing is by encouraging parents to sit down with their children and watch a confronting video demonstrating the serious consequences rock-throwing may have. Relationships Australia Northern Territory produced Choices Rock Throwing to help address rock throwing issues and is publicly available on YouTube. The rap music video tells a story about a boy who is visited by his proud pop, but when the boy gets up to trouble with his friends he throws a rock at a passing car not realising it was his grandfather, who was killed by the projectile. Supt. Post asked parents to take a moment to share the video with their kids. “This Choices video tells a very sad story and it delivers a strong message that our children have choices, and those choices can have consequences that might not be intended, but can be devastating for families,” he said. “I would ask parents to take a look at this video and if they are comfortable with it, I would encourage them to sit down and watch it with their children and discuss the choices that every child has to do the right thing.” The video can be viewed on YouTube.