Exceptional Community Partnership
in a Local Government Area
in a Local Government Area
This award category is proudly presented by ZEST Event Leader – Western Sydney Community Forum.
- Must show evidence of how stakeholders have worked in partnership to achieve an extraordinary outcome for the community of Greater Western Sydney.
- Must provide evidence of the positive impact this project has achieved in Greater Western Sydney, within an LGA.
The Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan
The Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan emerged in response to the large influx of vulnerable people with complex needs settling in Fairfield area on Australia’s Humanitarian Program. The aim of The Plan is to improve settlement outcomes for refugee, humanitarian and migrant entrants in Fairfield City. The Plan, led by Core Community Services and Fairfield City Council in conjunction with over 20 government and non-government organisations, is supported by Multicultural NSW. It employs a place-based approach to enhance existing service provision, identify service gaps, and increase the profile of Fairfield as a leading settlement city, utilising local knowledge and connection to community to coordinate improved service provision and access for the newly-arrived.
Western Sydney Homeless Connect
Western Sydney Homeless Connect (WSHC) was founded in 2013, inspired by the success of the Sydney Homeless Connect (SHC) event based in Sydney Town Hall. Steve Butel and Barry Gobbes, with the support of the City of Parramatta, the SHC team, and dedicated volunteers, instigated the inaugural WSHC with the aim of connecting people experiencing homelessness in Western Sydney to frontline support services. WSHC now reaches more than 1500 people each day, connecting support providers with individuals and families, to help them break out of the cycles of homelessness and disadvantage.
Telopea Connections is an initiative of Dundas Area Neighbourhood Centre, Housing NSW and The City of Parramatta Council. Telopea Connections’ vision is to build trust, and strong, positive connections between organisations and the community. In 2018, the focus was on addressing violence, substance abuse and anti-social behaviour by young people. Telopea is a culturally and linguistically diverse community, with nearly 50% of the population born overseas and 1.2% of the population Aboriginal residents. Telopea Connections works together to build a vibrant community, sense of belonging and social wellbeing for all residents.
Blacktown Employment Accelerator
Blacktown Employment Accelerator (BEA) is an innovative example of community and business stakeholders working together to achieve a positive economic impact for refugees. The project addresses the key issue of employment for new arrivals – who come with skills and qualifications, but no local references or networks. Through speed-networking, job-seekers and corporate employers are connected with the aim of achieving employment outcomes efficiently and economically. SydWest works with job-seekers, to prepare them for the Accelerator’s speed-networking approach. Employers can meet prospective employees, understand their capabilities and pre-screen candidates. Trialled in 2017, the 2018 BEA involved 80 job-seekers and 13 employers, with positive feedback from all stakeholders.
IDPwD Picnic in the Park
Picnic in the Park is a collaborative community event that celebrates the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). The Picnic is open to all members of the community and is held each December at the Blacktown Showground. At the fourth event in 2018, over 400 people attended from local schools, disability providers and community service groups. The event showcases a range of performances and multi-sensory activities. The Blacktown Showground precinct enables whole-community inclusiveness, accessibility and increased awareness. The event includes performances by people of all ages and abilities. This collaboration amongst local services continues to grow and achieve better outcomes for people with disability.
Judges car park rough sleepers project
A cross-agency group in Penrith worked to house and support rough sleepers encamped in a Penrith CBD car park and return the site to the community. The project brought together stakeholders from the specialist homelessness sector, government, community social housing sectors, police and a local charity. Initiated by the Member for Penrith, with Wentworth Housing as the backbone organisation, the project used international evidence on what works to resolve rough sleeping encampments with dignity and determination. The cross-sector partnership project made it work; no single agency could have achieved this result!
Permaculture and Social Enterprise Design Course
The Upper Blue Mountains has the highest percentage of disengaged young people in Western Sydney. An alliance of government, organisations and businesses launched a ‘Pluriversity’ to provide a learning-by-doing platform. This engaged the community, by providing learning, mentoring and work experience opportunities outside mainstream and formal education pathways. The pilot program delivered a Permaculture and Social Enterprise Design Course to 20 young people aged between 16-24. This will be followed by six months of mentoring to provide visioning, skill development and support to grow community connections, life skills and independent enterprises. Graduates all committed to the Social Enterprise training and their evaluations consistently describe the project as ‘life-changing’.