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Independent assistance for master planning

Kira Osborne and Thomas Chailloux recently started work to independently resource tenants and the broader community during planning for the Waterloo redevelopment reports Geoff Turnbull in the April 2017 edition of the South Sydney Herald.

An Aboriginal community worker will join them after the Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) establishes an independent recruitment process with key Aboriginal stakeholders.

While funding comes from LAHC to agencies, Counterpoint Community Services (The Factory) employs Kira and Inner Sydney Voice (ISV) employs Thomas. Their work is guided by the Groundswell agencies, which pushed for the independent positions. Groundswell includes South Sydney Community Aid, Counterpoint, ISV, Redfern Legal Centre, Tenants’ Union of NSW and Shelter NSW.

Kira, who has a degree in psychological science and previously worked with high-risk youth and their families, fills a position similar to Laura Kelly’s community development role, but with a specific focus on the redevelopment. She will be secretary to the Waterloo Redevelopment Group (WRG) established by the elected tenant representative body – the Waterloo Neighbourhood Advisory Board (NAB).

The WRG is open to community groups, agencies and interested tenants as well as NAB representatives and exists to advise FACS on communication and engagement activities. Dare Kavanagh, who knows the area and process well from her earlier involvement in LAHC’s 2011 Waterloo masterplan, was elected as its independent chair. She has subsequently left LAHC and is back working in the non-government sector managing Reverse Garbage in Marrickville.

Kira told the SSH: “I believe that everyone impacted by the redevelopment should be respected, consulted and heard in an active and genuine way.” She has quickly identified “the incredibly diverse and connected community that exists within Waterloo”, saying, “I hope my role can capture and highlight these strengths, ensuring the rich culture of Waterloo is maintained”.

Thomas Chailloux fills a capacity-building role, the purpose of which he sees is to “work with people to overcome barriers to their effective participation in the master planning process”. He will create the tools that tenants, surrounding residents and relevant community organisations need to have their voices heard and respected in the Waterloo redevelopment. Thomas worked for the City of Paris and has a background in Urban Public Policy. He told the SSH the job will give him scope to work with “his passion for participatory democracy processes, his strong commitment to social justice and involvement of people in developing public policies”.

The SSH has covered groups and activities in Waterloo previously. You can see a more comprehensive who’s who with this article online.

Source: South Sydney Herald April 2017.