Log in

Forgot your password?
You are here: Home / UrbanGrowth, SMDA & RWA Plans & Activities / Human Services Plans / Waterloo Human Services Plan / Human Services in Redfern and Waterloo: A potted history listing of plans, interventions, activities, consultations and reports

Human Services in Redfern and Waterloo: A potted history listing of plans, interventions, activities, consultations and reports

This listing is prepared to provide an overview of key announcements and activities relating to Human Services in Redfern and Waterloo. It is not exhaustive and generally reflects what was known publically. Most projects were announced and not evaluated or ceased for one reason or another. Future Human Services planning should be aware of the earlier work in the area and learn as much as possible from it. Here we have not tried to draw out those lessons just construct an overview of what has gone before. Where reports or further information is available we have provided links or indicated that reports or resources are available.


21 March 2002 - Redfern/Waterloo Package of Initiatives announced with $7.2M funding over 3 years to target the highest priorities identified by the community. The Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project (RWPP) established following stone throwing by youth at buses in Elizabeth St and after calls for government to address issues in Redfern. It was established through the place making section of NSW Premier’s Department in partnership with South Sydney Council, which was subsumed by City of Sydney in 2004.


March 2003 - The Redfern Waterloo Street Team established (Central Sydney Area Health Service, Metropolitan Local Land Council, South Sydney Youth Services, Aboriginal Resource Centre with DoCS Metro South East Region as lead agency)

October 2003 - RWPP called for nominations for a Community Council to advise the RWPP on community concerns about Redfern Waterloo issues. It includes elected representatives as well as representatives from different sectors. Appointed for 12 months it met during 2004.


6 February 2004 - Redfern-Waterloo added to City of Sydney LGA when South Sydney Council was and City of Sydney merged by proclamation.

14 February 2004 - Civil Unrest upon death of an Aboriginal young person.

March 2004 - Redfern Community Centre opened after years of discussion and pushing by groups like Redfern Residents for Reconciliation for a Council run community centre next to The Block.

First half of 2004 - Morgan Disney undertook a review of Redfern/Waterloo Human Services.

10 March 2004 - Redfern-Waterloo Community Safety Plan adopted by Council. It operated from 2004 to 2007. It was produced by the Redfern-Waterloo Community Safety Plan Taskforce and was an initiative of the RWPP with Council as the lead agency. Redfern Waterloo Community Safety Plan

March 2004 - Redfern-Waterloo Community Safety Plan Action Review (copy held)

2004 - Centacare’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Counselling Service Program funded under The RWPP located at The Factory as a partnership project.

27 May 2004 - State Government Extends Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project until 2006 announced. At the time of the announcement, RWPP programmes included:

  • The eight-person Redfern-Waterloo street team, which operated seven days a week and worked with children and young people, aged 11 to 16 years
  • A specialist three-person Department of Community Services (DoCS) team, which provides a whole of government approach to dealing with high risk children;
  • Barnardo's Intensive Family Support Service-which provided an intensive home visiting service to local families;
  • Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Home Family Support Service-provided practical support for Aboriginal families;
  • Mentoring programs and the Redfern Police Youth Holiday Camps to build or restore relationships between local kids and police; and
  • Redfern-Waterloo Anti-Drug Strategy-which targeted the commercial supply of heroin and related social issues.

2004 - Strike force Coburn – Analysis of Redfern Local Area Command Response To Civil Unrest 15-16 February 2004 - www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/Pages/inquiryprofile/issues-relating-to-redfernwaterloo.aspx#tab-otherdocuments

August 2004 - Interim Report on Inquiry into issues relating to Redfern and Waterloo - Final Report December 2004 NSW Government Report to Inquiry into issues relating to Redfern Waterloo

December 2004 - The Redfern-Waterloo Plan #1 factsheet advises the RWPP to continue until 2008 in parallel with the RWA, produced Human Services plans with Govt and NGOs working together to solve the areas problems with Government moving towards pooling funding and or amalgamating services (copy of factsheet held)

November 2004 - Making Connections: Better Services, Stronger Community – Report on Review of the Human Services System in Redfern and Waterloo for NSW Premier’s Department. Morgan Disney & Associates released. Review of Human Services in Redfern and Waterloo

December 2004 – Lawson Street Community Health Centre announced Community Health Facility Factsheet and Redfern Mobile Needle Exchange Van To Close and New Primary Health Care Facility to Open

December 2004 - Government Announces Jobs Plan for Redfern Waterloo

3 December 2004 - Human Services review Factsheet released explains outcome of Morgan Disney report and announces the Implementation Working Group Human Services Review Factsheet


March 2005 - Human Services Advisory Committee (HSAC) with Govt and NGO Co-Chairs replaced the proposed Human Services Implementation Working Group (HSIWG). It first met on 3 March 2005 as part of the transition of Human Services from RWPP to RWA completed by 30 June 2005. It eventually becomes the Human Services Ministerial Advisory Committee (HSMAC) Redfern-Waterloo Human Services E-Newsletter - Issue One - March 2005

April and May 2005 - Cluster Groups held. The Cluster Groups were Aboriginal, Health, Families and Children and Youth clusters. Links to final cluster reports:

April 2005 - Reshaping Public Housing announcement of changes in eligibility and income criteria to ensure that access to public housing is targeted to those most in need. This increased the level of human service needs of people coming into and in public housing, which is cumulative over time.

May 2005 - CEO Steering Group established to advise the minister on the content of the Human Services Plan Redfern-Waterloo Human Services E-Newsletter – Issue 3 - May 2005 and CEO Steering Committee Announcement

May 2005 - Implementation Senior Officers Group set up in Human Services Plan

26 May 2005 - Case Co-ordination Framework Direction regarding privacy arrangements signed for management of complex cases and crisis cases involving children, young people and families in the Redfern-Waterloo area. The Case Co-ordination Project went on to include NGOs under HSP1 (printed copy held).

June 2005 - Evaluation of the Redfern/Waterloo Pathways to Prevention Project by Erebus International (printed copy held)

16 June 2005 - Terms of reference released for Employment and Enterprise Advisory Committee and the Built Environment Advisory Committee to sit alongside the earlier Human Services Advisory Committee Ministerial Advisory Committees Terms of Reference

1 July 2005 - Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project absorbed into RWA. This has significant implications for human service follow up.

July 2005 - Miller Group conducts community consultation about community reaction to the Lawson Street Redfern Community Health Facility to assess alternative locations. Report was never released but it is subsequently announced Redfern Community Health Facility will be located in the former Court House and Police Station.

October 2005 - Draft of RWA Human Services Plan Phase 1 (children and families, Aboriginal people, young people, health services) released for comment and submissions. Draft Human Services Plan - October 2005

October November 2005 - Comment and submission on Draft RWA Human Services Plan 1 - Submissions can be seen at Redfern Waterloo Human Services Plan Phase 1. Elizabeth Rice’s comments were of particularly of interest given her previous work for NSW Human Service’s CEOs Group.

October 2005 - Reading List supplied by RWA on One Stop Shops

December 2005 - Final RWA Human Services Plan Phase 1 released (Children and families, Aboriginal People, Young People, Health services) RWA Final Human Services Plan (Phase 1) - 22 December 2005 - PDF and Final Human Services Plan comparison with Draft

October 2005 - The Draft Redfern Waterloo Street Team Evaluation December 2005 RPR Consulting  Appendix released as RWST Literature and program review (full copy of draft held).

December 2005 - The Final Redfern Waterloo Street Team Evaluation by RPR Consulting – Release of report under FOI denied - The Street Team was subsequently wound up.

14 December 2005 - Report on Youth Taskforce and Youth Cluster Outcomes by EJD Consulting (print copy held) – This is the May 2006 membership of the RWA Youth Taskforce Membership

12 December 2005 - Draft RWA Employment and Enterprise Plan released and a couple of submissions are at Draft Employment and Enterprise Plan - 12 December 2005

Late 2005 and early 2006 - A series of Taskforces announced including:


2006 - Draft Housing and Human Services Accord  on exhibition and finalised in 2007. Little information on HNSW website about progress. Is this a basis useful for Waterloo Human Services?

April 2006 - Human Services Plan Implementation Framework and Report #1 (not released)

19 May 2006 - Final RWA Employment and Enterprise Plan Redfern-Waterloo Employment and Enterprise Plan 19 May 2006 - PDF and Comparison of Draft and Final Redfern-Waterloo Employment and Enterprise Plans

1 June 2006 - A ten-year Redfern – Waterloo Partnership Agreement signed between the Commonwealth and NSW to co-operate on enhancing the economic and social revitalisation of Redfern-Waterloo in relation to the Indigenous community (print copy held by REDWatch).

6 June 2006 - The RWA Human Services RWA Evaluation Framework and RWA Human Services Plan Performance Indicators .

24-25 July 2006 - RWA Human Services 2 day Forum – Issues Papers and workshop reports along with comments on the Forum papers and the draft Human Services Plan Phase 2 are under Human Services Plan Phase 2 on the REDWatch website.

October 2006 - Draft RWA Human Services Plan Phase 2 (Older people, people with disabilities, migrant communities, homeless people) released October 2006.

November 2006 - Redfern Waterloo Case Co-ordination Framework Guidelines (soft copy held). This replaced the Redfern Waterloo Case Co-ordination Principles and Guidelines (revised early 2006) to reflect programme running under joint auspice of Senior Offices Group and operational Management Group (operational mangers and NGOs).

November 2006 - Creating a Culture of Work in the Redfern Waterloo Area by Arrilla Indigenous Consultants and Services - Creating a Culture of Work in the Redfern Waterloo Area


May 2007 - Human Services Plan Implementation Report #2 (not released)

14 June 2007 - Redfern LAC finalised Waterloo Green Safety Audit (soft copy held)

16 August 2007 - Helen Campbell EO of Redfern Legal Centre is not reappointed to the Human Services Ministerial Advisory Committee and provides report to community on her time on the HSMAC - HSMAC NGO Report Back - 16th August 2007

September 2007 -The Waterloo Green Action Plan 2007 – HSMAC response to community concerns about anti-social behaviour and related safety issues on Waterloo Green response has a Human Services element - Waterloo Green Action Plan


May 2008 - Redfern-Waterloo Community Safety Plan Process and Outcome Evaluation by Jenny Bargen CHD Partners. Redfern LAC’s CSPC subsumed the Community Safety Taskforce and the Community Safety Plan was absorbed into a Citywide Safe City Strategy 2007-2012. The Neighbourhood Advisory Boards continued Safety Audits of the public housing estates.  Redfern-Waterloo Community Safety Plan Evaluation 2008

July 2008Final RWA Human Services Plan Phase 2 (Older people, people with disabilities, migrant communities, homeless people) Draft was October 2006 - RWA Human Services Plan Phase 2 - July 2008 and Human Services Plan Text Comparison of Final with Draft

2008 - Establishment of Redfern Waterloo Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) with Government and Non-Government agencies.

2008 - A Community Assistance Support Team (CAST) was established to engage Street Drinkers.

July 2008 - 18 Month Evaluation of Human Services Plan Phase 1 released. This is the only evaluation released even though regular evaluation was promised over its 10 year life (It wound up after 6 years with the RWA windup) Human Services Plan Phase 1 - 18 Month Evaluation Report

30 Sept 2008 - Community Safety Meeting about problems around Waterloo Shops – (Minutes held)

October 2008 - Community Safety Survey Results Redfern/Waterloo local businesses (copy held)

2008 - Waterloo NAB restructures into Thematic Action Groups, the Waterloo Learning Employment Enterprise Action Group (LEEAG), Waterloo Safety Audit Group (WSAG) (subsequently Waterloo Wellness Safety Audit Group (WWSAG)), Waterloo Events Group (subsequently the Redfern & Waterloo NAB Events Group) and Housing Standards.

November 2008 - Inquiry into Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Final Report 081125 Final Report for website.pdf


2009 - Possibility of wet centre for street drinkers explored by City of Sydney and FaCS.

14 July 2009 - MOU between City of Sydney and Housing NSW 2009-2012 to work collaboratively with the community to significantly improve the amenity, safety, health and well-being of residents living in and around public housing areas MOU between City of Sydney and Housing NSW

July 2009 – High-rise caretakers like in Scotland at the top of wish list supplied by The Factory to Local Member and Planning Minister Kristina Keneally.

November 2009 - NSW Ombudsman Report on The implementation of the Joint Guarantee of Service for People with Mental Health Problems and disorders living in Aboriginal, Community and Public Housing

2009 - Change in Legislation to allow Alcohol Free Zones on LAHC land achieved.


January 2010 - National Centre for Indigenous Excellence opened its doors on the former Redfern Public School site.

February 2010 - Redfern Health Centre opened in the former Court House / Police Station site.

19 February 2010 - Waterloo Green Neighbourhood Project publically announced. Project was to place concierges into building improve security, address maintenance and provide jobs for public housing tenants. Pilot for Stronger and Safer High Rise Public Housing

April 2010 – Waterloo NAB LLAG’s 11 week landscape gardening course starts

2010 - Redfern Waterloo Drug and Alcohol Taskforce established (Govt & NGO)

October 2010 - RWA Family Violence Taskforce, Action Plan and Forum (NGOs admitted in October 2009)

2010 - NSW DoCS Early Intervention Team with a manager and four case workers covering the Redfern Waterloo area

October 2010 - What the Community told us (Report on Key Stakeholder Consultation) HNSW


27 January 2011 - RWA Places Draft Built Environment Plan Stage 2 for Redfern and Waterloo public housing on exhibition. Many submissions made over the following month – for details see Built Environment Plan Phase 2 - Public Housing Estates

2011 - Draft Community Services Consultative Framework discussed with agencies

6 April 2011 - REDWatch and NGO’s establish Groundswell Redfern-Waterloo in response to the need for training and capacity building following the BEP2 announcement.

29 April 2011 - Redfern Waterloo Public Housing Tenant Survey HNSW Housing NSW Baseline Study

15 June 2011 - Redfern Waterloo Operational Area Social Infrastructure Plan NGO Workshop by Cred Community Planning. Government agencies workshop held 29 June 2011. A combined NGO and Government Workshop was then held on 27 July 2011 – report Community Facilities Review - Cred Community Planning

July 2011 - The $138,000 federally funded Beyond Walls project commences operation out of the Factory Community Centre to work with street drinkers. The RWA supported the project, which was to make recommendations to CDAT. Only limited term funding secured and the project lapsed within 2 years for lack of funding.

July 2011 - RWA Stakeholder Engagement Report on Feedback Received from Exhibition of the draft BEP2 – this report on the BEP2 consultation refers to human health issues raised in submissions. (soft copy held). RWA Releases BEP2 Stakeholder Engagement Report

August 2011 - Housing and Mental Health Agreement - The primary mechanisms for implementing the Agreement are the Housing and Mental Health District Implementation and Coordinating Committees (DIACCs). The agreement was to be implemented in partnership with NGOs. Last Housing and Mental Health Agreement - Annual Report 2013-14 indicates implementation hampered by restructuring in FACs regions and programmes, which has been ongoing since Going Home Staying Home.

August 2011 - HNSW Preliminary Master Plan Consultations for Redfern and Waterloo start - HNSW Preliminary Master Plan

November 2011 - Redfern Community Safety Audit (2010) released after much delay and agitation. It raised a number of concerns about safety and Redfern public housing Redfern Community Safety Audit (2010),

31 December 2011 - Windup of RWA. Its ends RWA’s Human Services Co-ordination and operation of committees such as HSMAC EEMAC and BEMAC. Some employment programmes passed to ATP and human service programmes were to continue under relevant agencies. As there was no longer a central co-ordination point to refer Human Service issues, from this point onwards, we have included approaches made directly to agencies with the aim of achieving improved human service outcomes in this document as getting action became a major issue.


April 2012 - Scotland establishes Social Housing Charter recognised the need to ensure tenant support. There are calls for it to be implemented in NSW - Scotland Housing sets a high bar – Can NSW measure up?

May 2012 - SMDA Report for Social Impact Scoping and Assessment Consultation Outcomes Report

2012 - What Residents want out of the Redfern & Waterloo Preliminary Master Plan HNSW – feedback from tenants for Redfern and Waterloo (copy held). Details of the Preliminary Master Plan (PMP) were never released. After a review of the PMP and BEP2 by the Government Architect, government did not proceed with planning controls or master plans for Redfern or Waterloo.

13 September 2012 – Critical incident in McKell Building Redfern. The next day The Factory raised concerns in an email to senior agency people about the co-ordination hole left with the winding up of human services co-ordination by the RWA.

16 October 2012 - Special Community Safety Meeting initiated about Housing Issues requiring attention especially those raised by Redfern NAB

30 October 2012 - Community Forum at Redfern Community Health Centre on proposal for Automatic Needle Dispensing Machine Redfern Health Centre After Hours Needle Dispensing Machine

November 2012 - Draft Waterloo Green Neighbourhood Project: Mid Term Evaluation by Hal Pawson and Crystal Legacy City Futures Research Centre UNSW. (Only Executive Summary released).

December 2012 - Waterloo Safety Audit report released, conducted by Waterloo Neighbourhood Advisory Board lead by City of Sydney Council Waterloo Safety Audit report 2012

December 2012 - ADM Management Plan Working Group established includes NGOs and interested community members. Draft SSWSHS Redfern Harm Minimisation Program Management Plan


4 February 2013 - Push for new HS mechanism with SMDA and other parties as reported in South Sydney Herald in - www.southsydneyherald.com.au/human-services-co-ordination/#.URIDDWciuN4

January 2013 - Kate Reakes started in her part time role of SLHD’s Harm Minimisation Program Manager and liaison officer. Kate successfully provided the link role between SLHD and the community that NGOs and REDWatch had requested. The case for the 2018 SLHD senior Link worker role was based on Kate’s early work.

Early 2013 - A human services group, involving NSW Health, senior Police, Housing, Family and Community Services was set up during the Automatic Dispensing Machine (ADM) discussion. This group expanded in early 2013 and was to meet monthly to address Redfern’s complex social, drug and welfare issues. In the second half of the year, NGO and community representatives were invited to every second meeting until this ceased. Sydney Local Health District Statement on Installation

March April 2013 - Discussions regarding need for NGO and community involvement in a human services integration mechanism with Area Directors Clive Bradshaw and Paul O’Reilly as well as with SLHD’s Nobby Alcala and the Redfern LAC Commander

26 June 2013 - City of Sydney Social Housing Wellbeing and Safety Action Plan Workshop. A draft plan was prepared but not progressed

28 November 2013 - Letter to Co-ordinated Services on Health & Drug Related Issues about every second meeting not working for community and NGO representatives. Long standing mechanism like CDAT were also sidelined from a process that they had focused on for many years.  (copy held)


28 January 2014 - In response to the letter about process the Co-ordinated Services on Health & Drug Related Issues Committee unanimously agreed that community members should not be at the table. The agencies were not comfortable with community people at the table as there were concerns about confidentiality / high level co-ordination and a need to focus on drug health. From this point, onwards NGOs and community groups received only an occasional glimpse of what agencies were doing in Redfern and Waterloo. At some point, a decision was made to wind up this group.

May 2014 - First collections from sharps bins introduced to Redfern and Waterloo Estates after community pressure based on success of Northcott bins. The Factory / Counterpoint asked to manage trial on the three sites.

September 2014 - Meeting about setting up a broad human services group with Karen Kiel from SLHD

November 2014 – The Factory applied for The Floating Support, to support tenants at risk of eviction, via Partners in Recovery Inner West Sydney (unsuccessful)


January 2015 – Peter Jack started working in Redfern as the Aboriginal AOD Outreach Worker for Sydney Local Health District

4 February 2015 - Following Sept 2014 meeting Karen Keil from SLHD proposed a Draft Terms of Reference for a Govt NGO mechanism

20 April 2015 - Michael Shreenan provided feedback on Govt NGO mechanism

Mid 2015 - Consultation undertaken by Judith Stubbs and Colleen Lux regarding Redlink

June 2015Waterloo Low Rise Building Safety Audit report released, conducted by Waterloo Neighbourhood Board lead by Counterpoint (previously The Factory and subsequently it merged with South Sydney Community Aid). Waterloo Low Rise Building Safety Audit 2015

15 July 2015 - Karen Keil from SLHD advises Health currently reluctant to establish another committee.

29 July 2015 - Redlink launched in Redfern with $1.3m committed for the centre and its outreach services. It operates out of the McKell building after a $3.2m security upgrade.

31 July 2015 - REDWatch formally proposes to Redfern Co-ordinated Services on Health & Drug Related Issues a broader human services co-ordination mechanism for human service co-ordination in Redfern and Waterloo following individual discussions at Redlink launch.

24 September 2015 – Letter from Redfern Co-ordinated Services on Health & Drug Related Issues advised that they could see no “obvious benefit” for an additional meeting.

26 October 2015 - City of Sydney Council resolved to write to FACS Minister to advocate for better coordination of service delivery and a mechanism for community consultation and representation following concerns from NGO’s REDWatch and NABs about the response to a establishing such a mechanism.

December 2015 – Sydney Local Health District submitted joint funding application with NUUA under the Social Housing Community Improvement Fund re: sharps waste management in Redfern and Waterloo (unsuccessful)

16 December 2015 - Waterloo Estate & Waterloo Metro redevelopment announcements.


11 February 2016 - Minister Hazzard asked to address Human Services in parallel with Master Planning by Councillor Irene Doutney at Public Meeting early 2016. Minister asks Paul Vevers to follow it up.

18 February 2016 – Minister Hazzard NCIE Meeting

22 March 2016 - Draft Central to Eveleigh Infrastructure and Social Issues Review (Darted September 2015) released.

2016 - REDWatch Called for Human Services alongside Master Plan and has discussions with FACS Regional Director Mandy Young about a human services mechanism.

5 July 2016 - Tenant Support Service Co-ordination Workshop on human services with Mandy Young. Follow up meeting in July (report of 5 July meeting held).

August 2016 - SLHD asks Inner Sydney Voice to sit on Green Square Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Steering Committee

Late 2016 and early 2017 - Counterpoint and Inner Sydney Voice seek to follow up on Tenant Support Service Co-ordination with Gary Groves after he replaces Mandy Young and in Targeted Early Intervention (TEI) forums.


10 March 2017 - SLHD EquityFest – Dr Teresa Anderson announced SLHD will also do HIA for Waterloo

1 May 2017 - Meeting with Dr Teresa Anderson at SLHD to map out Health needs in Waterloo. This involved the need for a HIA lens across the Master Plan, a Waterloo Health worker, a Waterloo Health Forum and the need for Human Service integration in Waterloo.

July 2017 – UNSW Community Development Project (CDP) ceases after 20 years in Redfern and Waterloo

2 August 2017 - REDWatch letter to FACS Executive requesting Human Service Plan and reply from Anne Skewes advising there will be a significant human services stream alongside the master plan.

August 2017 - SLHD undertakes gaps analysis of Waterloo studies with Health Impact Assessment Lens

August 2017 – Redfern NAB carries out Community Safety Audit, report being finalised

September 2017 - Draft Redlink Evaluation Stage 1: Process Evaluation by Judy Stubbs

27 & 28 September 2017 - SLHD’s Building a Healthy and Resilient Waterloo Now and into the Future Forum

16 November 2017 - Human Service Element in Master Plan Workshop for NGO Managers.

30 November 2017 - Human Services element in Waterloo Master Plan Workshop for NGO frontline staff.


February 2018 - Scheduled start date for SLHD Waterloo Health Link worker


List of Government Agencies Involved in earlier Redfern Waterloo Human Services Co-ordination:

Human Service Govt bodies under Case Coordination Framework:

  • NSW Police
  • Department of Community Services
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Housing / Housing NSW
  • Department of Aboriginal Affairs
  • Department of Education and Training / TAFE NSW
  • Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care
  • Department of Corrective Services
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Premiers Department
  • Sydney South West Area Health Service
  • Redfern Waterloo Authority

HSP Review includes above plus

  • City of Sydney
  • Australian Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
  • NSW Attorney General’s department

This potted history has been prepared by

Geoff Turnbull, REDWatch Co-Spokesperson

16 January 2018