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Centre manager says honeymoon is over

REDFERN: After five months in the job, Julia Medley, the current manager of Redfern Community Centre, freely admits the honeymoon period is over reports Jane Barton in the May 2012 edition of The South Sydney Herald.

She is full of plans for the centre and exudes enthusiasm for the changes.

“We are going to re-vamp the reception area, it’s cramped and out-dated, and put in a long reception desk, which people can approach when they come in. The manager’s office will become a new group space with a big table and chairs. At present there is no quiet space that ensures confidentiality,” she says.

There are also plans to refurbish the computer room to provide a craft area and run “more modern IT courses. We want to show people how to shop online as well as cater for basic computer skills. We will run specialist little courses for the elderly.”

She also plans to include “Walk-in Tuesdays”. Aboriginal Legal Service, Weave Community Services, Aboriginal Employment Strategy and Centrelink will be on site for community members to have easy access to a range of assistance.

With the opening of the Pemulwuy Housing Project next year, Medley says: “We hope also to make the outside park area more geared for families so we can have a barbecue area. Families from the local community and new families can sit and enjoy the sunshine round some picnic tables.”

Despite being new to the position and the community, and with so many changes in the planning, Julia maintains she is aware of the need to consult. “We work very hard to make the neighbours feel part of the centre.”

Nevertheless there is some disquiet in the community with the recent resignation of at least three Aboriginal staff members. The centre is currently advertising to fill the key position of Cultural Development Officer, an Aboriginal preferred position. “It’s a pivotal role for the centre. It’s not shifting priorities around, it is just about getting the right person for the job. In the community as a whole we do have quite a lot of other cultures.”

“I hope to take the RCC from strength to strength. It is a very exciting time to be in Redfern. We want to develop our partnerships with community and organisations to provide programs and events that the community likes,” she said.

Photo: Jane Barton - Julia Medley outside the Redfern Community Centre  

Source: The South Sydney Herald May 2012 –