‘Don’t Keep History A Mystery’ is this year’s National Reconciliation Week (NRW) theme. From 27 May to 3 June, NRW explores the facts about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, achievements and cultures – encouraging individuals to consider: what it is you do not currently know, about our shared national history?
“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.
“Social infrastructure & services are just as vital to liveability” To create liveable communities, multiple interdependent and related factors need to be considered, prioritised and financed. The Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) draft long term plan for growing Sydney on behalf of the NSW Government, Towards Our Greater Sydney 2056, provides an impressive vision that prioritises the significance of central and western Sydney in creating a global metropolis. The recently released GSC draft District Plans draw on this emerging vision to operationalise and bring this aspiration to reality through a focus on creating a liveable, productive and sustainable city.
A number of commitments are encapsulated within the Western Sydney City Deals which look towards a more connected city, a commitment towards 200,000 new jobs and the support for education and training for those jobs, support for local character, wellbeing and belonging, housing packages and a built-in monitoring and evaluation mechanism.
Western Sydney Community Forum ‘s design and events team have collaborated to produce this film retrospective, showcasing some of the events and women throughout the region, celebrating International Women’s Day in 2017.
WSCF CEO Billie Sankovic was a panellist at Catalyst West this week, in a collaborative event which brought together 350 representatives from government, industry and the community in discussions that focused on the region’s future over the next 20 years. Delivered by Western Sydney University and event sponsors, this collaborative forum opened the floor to a number of distinguished speakers, thinkers and innovators, driving discussion and provoking thought on ways to positively direct potential, during the anticipated growth period projected for western Sydney.
The Annual ZEST Awards were presented on Friday, celebrating exceptional people and projects in the communities of Greater Western Sydney. ZEST Patron, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, attended the presentation at ANZ Stadium’s Millennium room and spoke warmly, commending nominees and the part ZEST plays in bringing their achievements into the spotlight.
Special guests included Community Leader Aunty Carol Cooper, Leader of the Opposition, Luke Foley MP, ZEST Ambassador, Western Sydney University Chancellor Professor Peter Shergold, and co-host, journalist Chris Bath. Led by Western Sydney Community Forum in partnership with key event sponsors, the ZEST Awards showcase some of the region’s most inspiring stories, bringing together industry leaders and key representatives from business, government and community sectors.
As 2017 draws to a close, on behalf of the team at Western Sydney Community Forum I would like to say a warm thank-you to all of our members, partners and colleagues for your continuing support and inspiring work throughout the year. Much has been achieved!
While we look forward to a well-earned rest during the upcoming holiday season, celebrating and relaxing with family and friends, we can reflect on a year of continuing change and growth.
In 2017, the basis of our endeavours was shaped by our commitment to the people, places and services of Greater Western Sydney. We have continued to work alongside organisations who are achieving inspiring outcomes for the region and its communities. Our organisation is in the fortunate position of being able to witness the improvements being made and their diverse, positive impacts.
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.
The inspired MAGIC (Macarthur Access Group for Inclusive Communities) Project is run by extraordinary people working to help their community to recognise difference and develop inclusivity. Nominated for a ZEST Award in 2017, the MAGIC Project is a potent fusion of community, businesses and passionate individuals working with the collective goal of changing attitudes towards inclusion, through a positive, person-centred approach.
The beneficial impact of the MAGIC Project for the community is enormous: increasing participation and extending opportunities for social mobility means better spaces, shared experiences and increased wellbeing. Benefit to businesses is also significant, says Project Manager, Lisa Harrison. “People living with disability account for 19% of the population. It makes no financial sense to exclude a significant portion of the community from engaging with your business.”