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Thirty years and still transporting

The 30th anniversary lunch for South Sydney Community Transport (SSCT), held in the Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, was packed out with member clients alongside drivers, volunteers, officials and various community leaders. All around were people telling good stories of a service that is life changing for many. Manager Jane Rogers moved around making everyone feel welcome, and the President of the SSCT Committee, David Atkins, guided us through the event reports Dorothy McRae-McMahon in the South Sydney Herald of December 2009.

The brief Annual General Meeting brought only good news – a financial surplus for the year, increasing funding from its sponsors and overall enthusiasm for its services. The Chinese Ultimo Community Choir sang, Auntie Silvia Scott welcomed people to Country and Gumeroy delivered an amazing didgeridoo performance.

Roy Wakelin-King, CEO of the Redfern Waterloo Authority, described the depth of care, the extra mile of service given by all associated with the transport and its contribution to the forming of community among all concerned.

In launching the new DVD, which tells the story of the service, Lord Mayor Clover Moore reflected that so many community organisations begin with enthusiasm and then falter as time goes on. She felt the fact the SSCT has succeeded is due to three main factors. The first is that the service is based on genuine need, and the second that it is “firmly based in and built on” the local community. The third, and she thinks most important, factor – that the project has attracted “an extraordinary range of imaginative, dedicated and hard-working staff and volunteers”.

The objectives of the service are ones to which the Lord Mayor has been committed all through her varied political life. She believes that “an equitable city must be an accessible city and one that caters for all ages and abilities”.

She stated that there is still much more to be done on a wider front in the city, especially in the light of global warming, and suggested that the State transport system could learn much from South Sydney Community Transport.

She celebrated, especially, the difference it makes in the lives of so many people – allowing them to move around for medical appointments, shopping, local exercise centres, social interaction with neighbours and social outings.

Ms Moore announced that the pilot project shuttle bus from Redfern to Glebe via the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital would continue to be funded by the City of Sydney.

She then launched the new DVD, which was followed by children from the Darlington Public School Choir leading the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ and enjoyable socialising by all.

Photo: Ali Blogg -  The Ultimo Community Choir sings in celebration

Source: South Sydney Herald December 2009