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Have You Heard

Trevor Davies in Have You Heard – The fast News in the South Sydney Herald of February 2008 has reported on a number of Redfern Waterloo items.

Everyone wants to read! Schools assisted by NGOs

Reading is important. The Exodus Foundation is in Alexandria and now the Smith Family’s reading program, Learning for Life is operating in the same suburb. The Smith Family will run the “Student to Student” reading program over terms 2 and 3 in 2008, with the help of mentor students from local schools. The students will ring their reading buddies three times a week and the mentor students will read to them for about 20 minutes. This program has been running for eight years and is expanding next year at record numbers. To support the student mentors, the Smith Family requires capable and caring community members to volunteer as mentor supervisors. The mentor supervisors encourage and support the mentor students, by phoning them every week or fortnight and “catching-up”, and also by helping with any problems. If you are interested in helping, ring the Smith Family on 9699 9820 or drop in to their office at Alexandria Park Community Centre. It’s good to see NGOs working hard encouraging reading among the young people in the inner city community.

Hillsong on the move

Leigh Coleman, who for years has, among other things, run Hillsong’s welfare services, is moving on from Hillsong. Now it seems that Hillsong will vacate the old Good Government Building in Little Eveleigh Street.

A glimmer of hope on Redfern Street

This column has long been concerned about the St Vincent’s Presbytery on Redfern Street that’s been in a state of decay for years. Now there seems to be a ray of hope as a prominent business person has made an offer to the Catholic Archdiocese for the old building and, we understand, the sheltered workshop that is next door to the old courthouse. Something has to happen to the old Presbytery building – hopefully soon.

Redfern artist makes it worthwhile going to Balmain

Redfern artist, Pamela Neville, will be represented in an exhibition at the Balmain Watch House in February. Pamela has been painting full time for the past fve years and produces mainly small expressive works in oils and mixed media – personal responses to the land and its colour. Her works have been hung in numerous exhibitions, including the Camden Art Prize, Fishers Ghost Art Prize and the Surry Hills Festival. She has recently completed two years at the Sydney Gallery School Meadowbank TAFE where her works were highly regarded. She is represented in numerous private collections, both here and interstate. Some of her recent works are by invitation of the Balmain Peninsula Park Painters. This group has been meeting regularly for a number of years in the open spaces of Balmain. A special focus of this year’s exhibition will include the working tugs moored in front of the Colgate buildings on Mort Bay. The group will hold its 4th Annual Exhibition for one weekend only at the Balmain Watch House, 179 Darling Street Balmain at 10-4pm on Saturday February 23 and Sunday February 24. The opening will be from 6-8pm on Friday February 22.

The Festival makes a motza for Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre

The Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre, now homeless since it had to move out of the Surry Hills Library building in Crown Street, is being redeveloped. Its child-care service is operating over in Pine Street, Chippendale, and its administration is at the rear of the Bourke Street Public School. They have had a tough year but the Festival in 2007 was a great success if the amount raised is anything to go by. Linda Scott, the Chairperson, told this column that they raised $75,000. If you’re interested in having a say in the future of the Centre, why not join them at their Planning Day? It will be held on Saturday March 15. Ring the Centre on 9310 2888 for more details.

Marching on Canberra to turn back racism

On Tuesday February 12, a busload of people from the Redfern Aboriginal community is off to Canberra to take part in a rally at Parliament House. The group says it wants to mobilise people for the re-instatement of the Racial Discrimination Act, demand an immediate review of the Northern Territory intervention, end welfare quarantines, compulsory land acquisition and “mission manager” powers. It is also calling for the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We will have a report for you on their protest next month.

For more information ring Shane Phillips 0414 077 631.

Another pub goes for extended hours

The Beresford Hotel in Bourke Street, Surry Hills, currently has approval for hours of operation from 10am to 1am the following day, Monday to Sunday. The management wants to extend these hours to 3am. Imagine living next door to a pub that is open to 3am! If you live near the Beresford in Bourke Street, why not email and tell us what you think? If you live next door to any pub that opens to 3am and it doesn’t bother you, we would love to hear from you. Email me

Source: South Sydney Herald February 2008 -