Outstanding Project Promoting
Social Cohesion & Community Harmony
Social Cohesion & Community Harmony
This award category is proudly presented by ZEST Event Leader – Western Sydney Community Forum.
- Must demonstrate examples of how the project has improved social cohesion and community harmony on a local or regional level.
- Examples of improved social cohesion may include an increased sense of belonging, attachment to the community and/or willingness to participate in their community.
Hume Community Housing’s Community Cohesion Team
Launched in 2015, Hume Housing’s Community Cohesion Strategy provides the founding principles of Hume Housing Management Services and creates vibrant, sustainable and cohesive communities. The Team delivers activities across Western and South Western Sydney to support and sustain tenancies, foster participation in community decision-making and create a sense of connectedness and place. The Community Cohesion Team works toward safe and inclusive communities in which customers feel valued, respected, connected and thriving. Facilitating community-led change and leadership, developed in partnership with customers and local services, the Team aims to build capacity and resilience in communities.
Inspiring Change Women’s Conference
For over 5 years, Community Migrant Resource Cente’s Inspiring Change Women’s Conference has been changing lives: sharing successes and stories, building connections and confidence, toward a better tomorrow. Each year, the Conference brings together experts in various areas of practice with culturally and linguistically diverse women, in search of developing solutions for a better life in Australia. The conference addresses issues such as domestic and family violence, safety, security, protection, preservation, employment, gender equity, social participation, integration, harmonious living and belonging, with over 1500 women from mainstream and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds supporting each other and building social cohesion.
Social Cohesive Creative Photography Project
Social Cohesive Creative Photography Project worked with Canterbury–Bankstown Council and Randwick City Council to break down negative stereotypes around places of belonging. The photographer workshop focused on storytelling through digital platforms and ways we connect to areas outside of where we reside and work, why we connect to certain places and how these places shape our ideas of our selves. Participants from both local government areas shared their experiences around issues of racism, experiences of negative narratives, and ways of overcoming these. From these stories, works were commissioned to create a digital oral history platform, which will be showcased as part of the NSW State Library Harmony Day Celebrations in 2019.
Plaza Filipino Arts and Culture Programs
In 2018, not-for-profit organisation Plaza Filipino organised and supported three major events: the Australia Multicultural Event at Blacktown Library; the TPK Indigenous Fashion Show at Tramshed in June, attended by over 250 guests; and the Rise Up Concert in November – commemorating the fifth year since the typhoon Haiyan devastated a region in the Philippines, held in appreciation of the subsequent Australian aid effort. Plaza Filipino Arts and Culture programs and community events have reached more than 2,000 people in 2018, and thousands more via social media.
SPARK is a St Vincent de Paul Society NSW refugee settlement support program. The SPARK program engages community volunteers in Western Sydney, working together to assist settlement of refugee families and build respect between new and existing communities. SPARK works in partnership with seven primary schools in Western Sydney and is continually evolving the programs to make improvements. SPARK increases connectedness and participation, and develops skills in children and their families. This year, more than 300 children and families, from 18 nations, speaking more than 28 languages, came together with the SPARK team and 80 volunteers each week to participate in social programs, grow self-confidence and participate in non-judgemental learning spaces.
In June 2018, Evolve Housing ran a low-cost, two-day video workshop, ‘Spinning Together’, which taught participants how to capture video footage on their smartphones and edit it using an app. The project brought together social and affordable housing residents aged between 14 and 87 from different cultural backgrounds. The project was funded by the Premier’s Social Cohesion Fund, which paid for the professional training and equipment. The project encouraged inter-cultural learning, celebration of diversity, and cultural pride for the Western Sydney residents who participated, and finished with a screening event at Western Sydney University.
The Mardi Gras Variety Show
The Mardi Gras Show (MGS), organised by the Filipino Lesbian and Gay Community (FLAGCOM), promotes inter-relationship between the gay community and the wider multi-cultural community through entertainment and business collaboration. In partnership with the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON), the audience is educated about the importance of safe sex practices. The process of planning and staging the show involved members, volunteers and sponsors from various groups, promoting community integration and cohesion. The event also gives insight and training on a career in the arts and entertainment. MGS is recognised and widely supported for its positive, powerful message across the community, health and arts sectors.