Western Sydney’s Community Champions celebrated at the Ninth Annual ZEST AWARDS

Western Sydney’s everyday heroes were in the spotlight at the 9th Annual ZEST Awards on 15 February, celebrating exceptional people and projects in the community.   Led by Western Sydney Community Forum with major partners Western Sydney University, National Australia Bank, City of Parramatta Council, and Wentworth Community Housing, the ZEST Awards showcase Western Sydney’s inspiring stories of resilience, strength and innovation. 

2019-03-19T00:46:04+00:00March 5th, 2019|

Community Profile: the Craig’s Table Program and its inspirational creator, Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson

“Workers Compensation should be a detour, not a journey for life.” Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson Set back from the street in a quiet industrial part of Girraween in Sydney’s west is a social enterprise that carves out a place of meaningful work, transition and life-changing purpose, for people whose experience in being injured at work led them into a complex of systemic holes.   Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson is the author, powerhouse and patron of the Craig’s Table program, which supports people who have been injured at work and who find themselves stuck in a hard place. Initially from Adelaide, Rosemary has been in Sydney for 15 months, to trial delivery of the program - which is unique in the world – together with with colleague Corey Williams, and supported by NSW insurance and care organisation, iCare.

2018-05-04T04:07:32+00:00May 3rd, 2018|

Ten Minutes with Natasha Lay

ZEST Ambassador and Youth  Action’s Western Sydney Coordinator takes a moment to share the highlights of her year and her perspective on Western Sydney’s amazing young people. 2017 has been an epic year! Highlights would have to include the What’s Up West event we held for young community change makers just recently, at Western Sydney University in November. It was a huge event: we brought together hundreds of young people aged between 12 and 25 with the aim to inspire, empower and equip them to be active leaders in their communities. With Western Sydney’s incredible growth right now there is a significant amount of change happening extremely fast - but the decisions that are being made in the region don’t always engage young people. We want to make sure they are involved and empowered to create and contribute to change. Youth Action is now supporting those young people to be active community advocates.

2018-04-17T04:28:59+00:00December 4th, 2017|

WSCF Profile Feature: Nepean Food Services Manager Ditte Kozak

Nepean Food Services (NFS) is thriving community service, providing meals and social support for our aged people and people living with disability. Based in Sydney’s Greater West they have a service reach that extends much further inland and across Sydney. The organization is widely recognized for its excellence, and was inducted into the Western Sydney Community Forum’s ZEST Awards Hall of Fame in 2015. Ditte Kozak is the Manager at NFS and has worked with the organization for 25 years.

2018-04-17T04:12:17+00:00September 28th, 2017|

ZEST Awards Hall of Fame: Yvonne Santalucia

The 2017 ZEST Awards saw health sector worker Yvonne Santalucia inducted into the Hall of Fame, with fellow recipient, Marnel LaGarde. The most prestigious honour of the ZEST Awards, a Hall of Fame induction celebrates the exceptional, sustained achievements and accomplishments of individuals working in the community sector of Greater Western Sydney. For over 30 years, Yvonne has worked in the Health sector in Western Sydney and has been involved in multiple projects, primarily in multicultural services.

2018-04-17T05:38:05+00:00August 21st, 2017|

ZEST Awards 2017 Hall of Fame: Marnel LaGarde

In 2017, social worker Marnel LaGarde was inducted to the Hall of Fame, alongside fellow recipient Yvonne Santalucia.  Marnel began her career as a social worker at Parramatta/Holroyd Family Support Service - originally known as Parramatta Family Supports. Now Manager of the organization, Marnel has been a dedicated operative in the community sector for over thirty years and is a most worthy Hall of Fame inductee.

2018-04-17T05:34:58+00:00August 11th, 2017|

Champions of the Parramata LGA have been Recognised in the 2016 ZEST Awards

Community organisations, groups and individuals have been recognised in the 2016 ZEST Awards – four winners from the Parramatta LGA have been announced and two received recognition in their categories as highly commended.

Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Paul Garrard said it was great to see so many nominees from the Parramatta

2016-10-14T00:24:41+00:00March 9th, 2016|

ZEST Celebrates Greater Western Sydney

Greater Western Sydney is still buzzing from the ZEST Awards Ceremony – catering to a full house at ANZ Stadium on February 24.

The event attracted around 500 champions of the not-for-profit sector, including leading representatives from both business and government organisations in the region.

Receiving over 100 nominations for the third consecutive year, the ceremony recognised

2016-10-14T00:24:42+00:00February 25th, 2016|

Community Finalists Announced for 2016 ZEST Awards – Blue Mountains

ZEST Awards are pleased to announce 3 nominees from the Blue Mountains local government area – nominees represent the categories for Outstanding Use of Technology by a Not for Profit Organisation and Exceptional Community Partnership Project in a Local Government Area.

Meet the nominees:

Every Moment Has Potential: Person Centred Active

2016-07-21T01:44:13+00:00February 18th, 2016|

Campbelltown’s Fisher’s Gig Nominated for a 2016 ZEST Award

ZEST Awards announces nominees for Outstanding Youth Led Project in Greater Western Sydney – Campbelltown’s Fisher’s Gig is nominated for their annual youth music festival.

Fisher’s Gig has been part of the long standing Festival of Fisher’s Ghost celebrations for 18 years, starting as a band competition the event has grown to

2016-10-14T00:24:42+00:00February 18th, 2016|