Exceptional Community Partnership
Project Across a Region
Project Across a Region
This award category is proudly presented by ZEST Event Partner – Wentworth Community Housing.
- 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, across the region.
Zero Barriers project joined forces across sectors to improve access and inclusion for people with disability. The project worked closely with the Bankstown Chamber of Commerce, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool and Fairfield Councils, local businesses, services, sports institutions and community agencies to make South West Sydney a disability-friendly area. The Zero Barriers Excellence Awards then recognised those with a strong commitment in working towards Zero Barriers for people with disability. Examples of improvements made include adapted children’s swimming lessons, a petrol station with staff trained to assist drivers with disability, a restaurant with staff trained in Auslan sign language and providing Sensory Sensitive dining hours for family with children with autism, and revised shop designs.
The Vulnerable Families Program
The Vulnerable Families program is a joint initiative between FACS and Western Sydney Local Health District, to understand and address unmet health needs of families known to FACS, with current risk of significant harm. The initiative covers the local government areas of Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta and The Hills. It provides a central point of contact and looks at the holistic health care needs of the whole family. This has resulted in improvement to school readiness, counselling around issues regarding the impact of trauma, and other health care interventions. Partnerships with local agencies – including WentWest (the Primary Health Network) – have improved, with agencies working together to provide the best outcomes for Western Sydney families.
Empowered to Work
Empowered to Work started in 2017 as an innovative pilot project, funded by the Stronger Communities Grants Program through both the City of Parramatta and Cumberland City Councils, and is run in partnership, by Jesuit Refugee Service and the House of Welcome. The project aims to develop networks of employers, community organisations partnerships, train volunteers and provide holistic and tailored employment support for people seeking asylum in Western Sydney. The project has supported 310 people seeking asylum to access employment support, with 124 moving into education, training or employment. Fifteen volunteers have trained to support people seeking asylum in job searching, interview skills and resume writing.
The Premier’s Youth Initiative
The Premier’s Youth Initiative is a pilot program designed to prevent Out of Home Care young people 16 to 17 years old from becoming homeless. The Premier’s Youth Initiative is delivered in the Nepean, Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains region by Platform Youth Services, Mission Australia and Wentworth Community Housing. Out of Home Care young people are 16 times more likely to become homeless; the aim of the Premier’s Youth Initiative is to prevent these vulnerable young people from becoming homeless. Forty clients, all with Personal Advisors, were accommodated independently.
Active Breed is a 12-week men’s health program, developed collaboratively between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Western Sydney University and the South-Western Sydney Primary Health Network. With support from community partners, this program engages men in weekly 90-minute physical activity and education sessions in Belmore Sports Ground, the Bulldogs’ ‘inner sanctum’. The team utilises football as a platform to improve physical health and to start important conversations about mental health, gender equality and the important role men play in building a culture of respect for women. Improvements in diet, activity, connectedness and health were measured in the 47 participants over the course of the program, which will continue into 2019.
Collective Impact is the partnership between Community Migrant Resource Centre and Wesley Mission, implementing an evidence-based cultural care model, providing effective family support services to 52 culturally and linguistically diverse families, with a focus on child protection. Cross-sector collaboration between two programs – Wesley Mission Brighter Future program and CMRC’s Multicultural Support Workers Project – has generated extremely efficient, effective outcomes for greater Western Sydney communities, particularly improving overall engagement and numbers of culturally and linguistically diverse families receiving Brighter Futures program support. This is the first time the program has been delivered in other languages in NSW, in collaboration between two agencies.
The DADS&bubs Playgroup was a collaboration between the Northern Centre, Playgroup NSW, and Explore and Develop Parramatta. The program was aimed at providing opportunities for Dads, carers and their children aged from 0–5 years old, to explore the importance of play, build on parenting skills and enable parents/carers to develop social networks, especially as most Dads are in full time work during the week when most playgroups run. Fathers and children benefited from this initiative, in improving relationships, extending knowledge of services, and increased confidence as a parent.
Library Health Month
Library Health Month was designed to increase Western Sydney library users’ awareness of the NSW Health ‘Make Healthy Normal’ campaign, and the Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service. Focusing on young families and multicultural audiences, it aimed to promote health programs and key messages, review libraries’ health collections, increase usage, increase staff awareness of NSW Health programs, and provide local community health events in local languages. The program drew over 40 registrations for the Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service, delivered 31 health talks and activities to 593 participants, and established an ongoing, successful partnership between libraries and NSW Health, with the decision that Library Health Month will now run every September, from 2018.
Making a Safe Home
The Making a Safe Home program in Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains is aimed at keeping children at high or imminent risk of entering the Out of Home Care system, safe at home. The program’s success has been through high-level commitment, from both FACS and Health NSW, to work in close partnership, providing ongoing work that enables a comprehensive level of service delivered. An independent review by the University of Western Sydney revealed that, apart from the social benefits of keeping children safe at home with their parents, the program had a cost savings of $2.2 million on the first 28 families, over the cost of bringing the children into Out of Home Care.
More 2 Life
More 2 Life Capacity Building Workshops were held in Cobham Juvenile Justice Facility, consisting of workshops aimed at building awareness and capacity in young offenders, to support them in transitioning back into the community. The program is anticipated to be extended into other Local Government areas in Western Sydney. Ability Links and Rap 4 Change remain engaged with Cobham by continuing to offer support to young people being released from incarceration, leading to a further three referrals for young people seeking employment, post-release. A new set of workshops will be delivered in early 2019 and the program is expected to be extended to other Juvenile Justice facilities.
Nepean Jobs For All
Nepean Jobs For All was a joint project of Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, and Penrith City Councils, funded through a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Information, Linkages and Capacity-Building grant. The project aimed to raise awareness about the under-employment of people with disability and the benefits to business, in employing people with disability. Throughout the one-year project, 27 presentations about inclusive employment were delivered to business and community groups across the Nepean region. A community member with disability from each Council’s Access Committee was involved in the governance group for the project. Throughout the project, 27 presentations about inclusive employment were delivered to business and community groups across the Nepean region.
The Right Start Foundation and Community Links Wellbeing
The Right Start Foundation, which provides funds for families with a member with Down Syndrome, and Community Links Wellbeing, which provides community programs for people in the communities of Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Camden, have combined resources to run monthly support meeting groups for families with a member who has Down Syndrome. The group is facilitated by a qualified social worker and member of the AASW, Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists, employed by Community Links Wellbeing. The Right Start Foundation provides the funds to run this program, which provides a day for families to get together, support each other, and benefit from the therapists and social worker services, free of charge, once a month.