As I tuned into the NSW Government’s Budget 2020-21 announcement on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but hold a level of anticipation. Amid recent announcements that Australia is facing a recession, I needed to know as I scanned the influx of media announcements – was Western Sydney going to be a ‘winner’ in this year’s budget?
Western Sydney’s Community Champions celebrated at the Ninth Annual ZEST AWARDS GalleryAgeing, Business, Community Development, Disability, Events, Governance, Latest News, Reform, Targeted Earlier Intervention Reform, Transport, Youth, ZEST
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.
Anastasia Sadovaya is a case manager and Team Leader at St Simeon’s Health Care, and Coordinator of Home Care Services - and a 2018 Generation CommunitY Alumnus. Generation Community is a leadership program for young people, delivered annually by Western Sydney Community Forum, which is aimed at developing knowledge, skills and goals toward a self-defined career in leadership and managerial roles. Over 6 months, participants delve into discovering what motivates them in their work and aspirations, working on ways to constructively harness their strengths and work with any perceived limitations.
The Communities of Change Roadshows are underway, delivering key insights from the Communities of Change Report, throughout the local government areas of Western Sydney. The Roadshow sessions are an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the report with WSCF specialists and facilitators, specifically relating the data to current and future service delivery in local government areas.
The NSW Government released its much-anticipated Budget this week. I was excited. We had the recent signing of the Western Sydney City Deal. We saw a strong public discourse of governing ‘with heart’. And we have an election(s) looming. I was excited and keen to hear how this would all play out in reality, to get to the heart of priorities across Western Sydney and beyond, in NSW. What I found is that this Budget, in the main, begins to address some of the infrastructure priorities of the region but has some considerable way to go before it gets close to being a Budget that will foster, sustain and improve community wellbeing and liveability.
Joint Media Release St Vincent de Paul Society NSW and Western Sydney Community Forum Parramatta, 23 May 2018: The release of a major report on the changing landscape of Western Sydney reveals important insights which could impact future planning and investment in community health and wellbeing. The ‘Communities of Change: Western Sydney Now and Into the Future’ report, a collaboration between Western Sydney Community Forum and St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, highlights areas of potential shortfalls in investment and service delivery.
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.
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.