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RWIU 6 Feb 2008

In this Update: Happy New Year – The Turnbull Family of Redfern is back! / REDWatch Meeting - 6 February 2008 6pm The Factory / REDWatch Submission to Inquiry into Overcoming Aboriginal Disadvantage / Eveleigh’s Large Erecting Shop - Alive and Active / RWA sell Rachael Forster Hospital for $11.5 million / Proposed CoS - Rabbitohs Redfern Oval Agreement – Exhibition until 8 February 2008 / ILC lodge School Site Concept Plan Modification / Department of Arts pays CarriageWorks $1m for RWA Delay / Housing NSW Waterloo Green Statement upsets residents / Housing NSW starts work on Walker and Philip Streets Project / RWA Annual Report: not making information easily accessible / Questions over RWA Grants / AHC Optimism over Pemulwuy Project / Federal Parliament Convergence, Apology and Local Activities / Frasers get CUB DGRs for Remediation & Transitional Works / Erskineville Supermarket DA Campaign / Village to Village Shuttle Bus Expansion to Woolloomooloo / ISRCSD’s Inner Voice looks at the DoH Human Service Accord / 2006 Census figures now in CoS Community Profile / CoS 2030 Emerging Directions Report / RWA and REDWatch Websites Summer Holiday cleanup / RWA’s December 2007 Update / South Sydney Herald February 2008 / In the Media / Souths in the News / Exodus Centre Redfern Graduation / Connect Redfern - Updated Children & Family Lists / Vodafone Foundation Australia “Volunteers” Grant / Easy Cooking on a Budget – Starts 20th February 2008 / Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations.

In this Update:

Happy New Year – The Turnbull Family of Redfern is back!

REDWatch Meeting - 6 February 2008 6pm The Factory

REDWatch Submission to Inquiry into Overcoming Aboriginal Disadvantage

Eveleigh’s Large Erecting Shop - Alive and Active

RWA sell Rachael Forster Hospital for $11.5 million

Proposed CoS - Rabbitohs Redfern Oval Agreement – Exhibition until 8 February 2008

ILC lodge School Site Concept Plan Modification

Department of Arts pays CarriageWorks $1m for RWA Delay

Housing NSW Waterloo Green Statement upsets residents

Housing NSW starts work on Walker and Philip Streets Project

RWA Annual Report: not making information easily accessible

Questions over RWA Grants

AHC Optimism over Pemulwuy Project

Federal Parliament Convergence, Apology and Local Activities

Frasers get CUB DGRs for Remediation & Transitional Works

Erskineville Supermarket DA Campaign

Village to Village Shuttle Bus Expansion to Woolloomooloo

ISRCSD’s Inner Voice looks at the DoH Human Service Accord

2006 Census figures now in CoS Community Profile

CoS 2030 Emerging Directions Report

RWA and REDWatch Websites Summer Holiday cleanup

RWA’s December 2007 Update

South Sydney Herald February 2008

In the Media

Souths in the News

Exodus Centre Redfern Graduation

Connect Redfern - Updated Children & Family Lists

Vodafone Foundation Australia “Volunteers” Grant

Easy Cooking on a Budget – Starts 20th February 2008

Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations

Coming Events (look at the new local events entered on the REDWatch website that are not covered here)

Happy New Year – The Turnbull Family of Redfern is back!

Yes we know it has been 2008 for over a month! Immediately after the last update in December we left for England on a family holiday for 5+ weeks. We had a good time and travelled 3000+ miles around the UK and Ireland.

REDWatch Meeting - 6 February 2008 6pm The Factory

The first meeting of REDWatch for the year is on Wednesday 6th February 2008 at 6pm at The Factory. REDWatch meets the first Wednesday of the month downstairs at The Factory, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo. Meetings are open to the public, so come along and talk about what is happening in Redfern Eveleigh Darlington and Waterloo (REDW).

REDWatch Submission to Inquiry into Overcoming Aboriginal Disadvantage

REDWatch has completed its submission to the NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into Closing the Gap – Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage. The submission can be viewed on the REDWatch website at REDWatch Submission - NSW Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Inquiry. Going back over the 2004 Redfern and Waterloo Inquiry recommendations, it was encouraging to be reminded that the earlier Inquiry made many recommendations about the things the Inquiry thought the Government and the RWA should do as well as how the NSW Government needed to with work with the community and NGOs in the area. While REDWatch agreed with many of the recommendations very few of the Inquiry’s recommendations have been implemented. The REDWatch submission has asked that the new Inquiry examine the implementation of the earlier recommendations by the NSW Government and the RWA, as is allowed under the new Inquiry’s terms of reference.

Eveleigh’s Large Erecting Shop - Alive and Active

The future of the Large Erecting Shop is still up in the air but that is not stopping the place from continuing to be active. The Friends of Eveleigh in their January update have provided information on one of the successful heritage tours from the Large in January, as well as an update on the Powerhouse Museum involvement and the volunteers working on ex breakdown crew van L516. The FOE January update can be downloaded as a PDF file (60 KB) or as text on the REDwatch website Alive and Active - The Large Erecting Shop Eveleigh Railway Workshops, Redfern.

Heritage Tour operator 3801 Ltd, who operate out of the Large have just announced an expansion of their Cockatoo Run which will now incorporate the “Illawarra Tree Top Flyer” when it opens in early March. 3801 Ltd expect to do two trips a week which will link by coach at Robertson for the short drive to the Illawarra Fly. Details can be found in the 3801 Ltd media release at 3801 Ltd Announce new Illawarra Tour service.

While we were in the UK, Geoff visited the National Railway Museum in York www.nrm.org.uk. The Museum is situated close to the centre of York and is readily accessible to all the tourists who visit the historic city. They have a large collection of the country’s historic engines and carriages on display, as well as tours and other special events on the site. It gives a good idea of what could have been done at Eveleigh if the earlier museum plans proposed by David Hill and others had been taken up by the NSW Government at Eveleigh is such an easily accessible part of Sydney. The visit reinforced our view that the Large could still become a major tourist destination and play an important heritage role in NSW linking with other parts of NSW’s rail heritage.

RWA sell Rachael Forster Hospital for $11.5 million

On 24th January 2008 the RWA announced that the successful tender for the Rachel Forster site, Kaymet Corporation Pty Ltd, would purchase the concept plan approved site for $11.5 million. In the media release Key Redfern Projects Move Forward the Minister Mr Sartor said “The net proceeds from the sale of the Rachel Forster Hospital site will be dedicated to the development of a new $10 million community health centre proposed for the former Redfern Courthouse and Police Station site”. The media statement said that the proposal for the health centre is expected to be placed on public exhibition shortly.

Proposed CoS - Rabbitohs Redfern Oval Agreement – Exhibition until 8 February 2008

The Council of the City of Sydney is upgrading Redfern Park and Oval and associated facilities.  It is proposed to enter into a Licence Agreement with the South Sydney District Football Club (Rabbitohs) for the use of the oval and grandstand. The Licence Agreement will be between the Council of the City of Sydney and the South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club (Rabbitohs). It will cover a term of 10 years with an option for a second term of 10 years. Council will manage maintenance and use (bookings) of the site. The details of the consultation and the Redfern Oval Licence Agreement - Key Terms (PDF 20Kb) can be found at  Proposed Redfern Oval Licence Agreement. The Exhibition period closes 8th February.

The proposed licence agreement provides for passive and active community use of the field and facilities as designated public space. The Rabbitohs will have:

  • use of the oval and grandstand for the purpose of playing and training rugby league;
  • use of the oval for 10-20 hours per week from November to September each year; and
  • exclusive use of part of the grandstand building.

ILC lodge School Site Concept Plan Modification

The ILC have lodged a Modification (MP 06_0257 MOD 1) to their Concept Plan for the National Indigenous Development Centre on the former Redfern Public School. According to the Department of Planning website the Modification is “to amend the height of the Renwick Street fence; the construction staging; and the timing of issue of a Site Audit Statement in respect of remediation. The proposed modification also seeks to alter condition B2 which relates to development contributions”. The following documents can be downloaded from the DoP Register of Major Projects: modification application form (696 KB PDF) and documentation (Building G fence (490 KB PDF); covering letter (38KB PDF) and NIDC Site Audit (73KB PDF); and developer contributions (312 KB PDF)). The Development Contribution for the site is $598,749 and the ILC is asking the Minister to waive the contribution based on the “material public benefits” the development will bring to the local Indigenous and non-Indigenous community.

Department of Arts pays CarriageWorks $1m for RWA Delay

The 2006-7 Annual Report of the Department of Arts, Sport and Recreation (Arts NSW) is out and contains a fascinating note that the CarriageWorks was given a grant by that department of $1 million due to “delays by Redfern-Waterloo Authority on commercial development and Income” (p 125). No further information is supplied and it makes us wonder when Arts NSW expected the RWA to take the North Eveleigh site to market. The Annual Report also notes an unquantified “one-off payment from State rail towards the CarriageWorks project” (p 90) and a payment of $64,000 to “Mollison Communications – Development of Marketing and communications strategy for CarriageWorks” (p106).

The Arts NSW Annual Report gives the purchase price of the completed CarriageWorks buildings at $40,120,083 and land at $10,500,000 (p119). The CarriageWorks is operated by CarriageWorks Ltd., the company established to operate the centre which is managed by the Director CarriageWorks who is responsible for effectively implementing the NSW Government’s vision for the centre. CarriageWorks Ltd received the following support from the department in addition to the compensation for the RWA delay – “CarriageWorks management and operations, contribution to salaries and on-costs ($2,427,974), commercial bays ($300,000)”. The 2006-07 Annual Report says of CarriageWorks:

“CarriageWorks contemporary arts centre at Redfern was completed this year. It provides much needed infrastructure for the small to-medium performing arts sector and opportunities for Indigenous arts development (see page 23).” (p5) … “The former carriage workshop building at the Eveleigh Rail Yards is now a centre for theatre, music, dance, and visual and hybrid arts. CarriageWorks houses four of our Theatre Program clients: Performance Space, Stalker Theatre, Erth and the service organisation Playwriting Australia. CarriageWorks will become New South Wales' leading contemporary dance venue when One Extra Company, which merged with the Performance Space in 2007, moves there. The Visual Arts and Craft Program supported the Performance Space's visual arts program with $75,000 that was matched by the Australia Council under the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy” (p 25).

Housing NSW Waterloo Green Statement upsets residents

The Housing NSW has upset those involved with Waterloo Green with their media release of 20 January 2008 which is seen as it trying to duck responsibility for its duty of care responsibilities on the Green and wrongly making the Housing NSW look pro-active when it has been dragging its feet. Residents were able to point out last week the broken lights and other maintenance which was identified in the Waterloo Green Community Safety Audit which has not been done by Housing NSW. Its statement on Waterloo Green can be found on REDWatch at Waterloo Green - DoH Media release of 20 January 2008. and reads: 

“Housing NSW provides housing assistance to people in need. When there is antisocial behaviour in parks or common areas owned by Housing NSW such as Waterloo Green, Housing will pass on relevant information to NSW Police for their action.

Housing NSW is not empowered to take action unless there is a breach of tenancy – but it does try to work with public housing communities and other agencies to build stronger communities in areas where there is a lot of public housing.

In early 2007 in response to concerns from local residents, the Redfern Waterloo Authority in partnership with Housing NSW established the Waterloo Green Action Plan. Other agencies involved include NSW Police, DoCS, NSW Health, Department of Education and Training, City of Sydney, DADHC, Ministry of Transport and the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation. Various non-Government agencies are also engaged in activities resulting from the plan.

The aim of the plan is to improve public safety on and around Waterloo Green, reduce anti-social behaviour associated with excessive public drinking, provide more information about services, events and local interest groups, improve access to key human services (such as DoCS, DADHC and NSW Health), make more use of meeting and activities spaces and increase interaction between older residents and young people.

So far, Housing NSW and NSW Police have conducted a safety audit of the area, which has resulted in improved lighting and landscaping. The community have participated in the creation of a tile mural, which has helped deter graffiti and vandalism and has improved the appearance of the area. Further physical improvements are planned this year. Additionally a number of agencies sponsored a picnic for the community in December 2007 to help people to get to know their neighbours which was well attended.

Housing NSW holds regular community meetings with residents in Waterloo and has received encouragement from residents for its work on improving Waterloo Green.”

Housing NSW starts work on Walker and Philip Streets Project

On 9th January the NSW Minister for Housing Matt Brown visited the Walker / Phillip / Elizabeth Street site to announce that work was beginning on the previously announced housing re-development.

Mr Brown said the contractors, RK Civil and Environmental Engineering, had lodged a detailed demolition plan with Housing NSW to clear, level and have the 9,709 m2 site ready for the start of construction. “The work to demolish the buildings and prepare the site is expected to take four months, with the construction of the 106 new public housing dwellings due to start in August 2008,” Mr Brown said. Full details of the media release can be found on the REDWatch site at Redfern’s $28 Million Housing Redevelopment Underway. The media release also contained two new views on the development – Aerial view from Walker - Philip Corner (3.9MB JPG) and Overall View from Walker - Philip Streets (2MB JPG).

The announcement was reported in the Courier Central of 16 January 2007 under $28 million housing boost for Redfern. Macquarie National News on 9 January 2008 ran the story under a picture of the Block as The Demolition Begins as Redfern Gets a Revamp with the first line “Redfern’s notorious public housing block will soon be swapped for new age terrace houses in a bid to clean up the area.” Just shows how little some in the media know about Redfern. In fact Housing NSW has only three vacant terrace sized blocks next to the Block but they have so far refused to join the surrounding landowners and support the redevelopment plans for the Block.

RWA Annual Report: not making information easily accessible

In our last update we were able to let you know the RWA’s Annual Report was out and provide the link but we did not have a chance to go over it in detail. Since we got back we noticed that RWA have not made a text version of the Annual Report available as they have in the previous two years. On trying to copy a quote from the report for a submission we also discovered that the PDF file is locked so copying and searching the electronic version is not possible! In the electronic age it’s a major concern that the public looking for information about an aspect of the RWA’s activities are not be able to search to find information in the RWA’s Annual Report or to copy its content into a paper or for study. So that the information in the RWA 2006-07 is accessible we have produced an OCR text version of the report excluding the Financials. We have put links at the beginning of the document so you can go directly to parts of the report that may be of interest. The text version can be found on the REDWatch site at Redfern-Waterloo Authority Annual Report 06-07.

Our printed version of the RWA Annual Report is not standing up to much reading and the pages are falling out due to bad binding (no we did not break its spine to scan or photocopy it). We are not the only ones with this problem and one wag has suggested it may be related to the “Cheap N Easy” tee-shirt on the front cover of this year’s RWA report.

Questions over RWA Grants

The RWA 2006-07 Annual Report provides the list of Sponsorships and Grants made by the RWA in 2006-7 which have increased from $47,381 in 2005-06 to $827,166.25 in 20006-07. Family Support programmes received 87% of the RWA funding in 2006-07 with Kidspeak & Barnardos receiving $581,124, Mudgin-Gal $70,000 and Centacare $70,000 (It is not explained why these were funded through the RWA rather than DoCs). The next largest grant recipients were Alexandria Park Community School with a total of $43,214 (Does this mean DET is unable to find funds within its budget for implementing the HSP and the EEP recommendations it is supposed to implement and is the RWA is covering some of this?). Tribal Warrior Association received $21,500 in support followed by $7995 payment by the RWA for the RWA’s own Seniors Christmas Luncheon (see Seniors Christmas Party in the RWA’s December 07 Update for details of this RWA event). This seems a strange inclusion given other RWA expenditure is not detailed anywhere else in the report.

On the REDWatch website you can find the full list of the Sponsorships/Grants provided by the Redfern-Waterloo Authority that the RWA have provided for 2006-07 in their Annual Report. It is surprising that there is no other mention of any of the projects funded by the RWA in Human Services Plan report section of the RWA Annual Report. Only catering assistance grants (of which there were 5 of between $200 and $300) get a mention.

Grants are not listed as a separate item in the Annual Report Financials. In fact there is no financial information on how much the RWA spent on its human services activities (including Street Team expenditure) other than the grants mentioned above. There is also no information on what was spent on its Employment and Enterprise programmes. From the full list of policies in the Appendix it also appears that the RWA has no policy that governs the giving of grants, or policies on assessment of projects and programmes other than the catering grants, for which guidelines are provided on the RWA website.

You may recall that when quizzed about per capita funding on local Aboriginal people by Ms Lee Rhiannon in Parliamentary Estimates hearings on 15 October 2007 the Minister said “Our main emphasis in Redfern is opportunities for people, rather than cash handouts. We do not do cash handouts”. With grants of $827,166.25 we think more information is required from the RWA about its grants programme, its administration and assessment.

AHC Optimism over Pemulwuy Project

There is optimism that the battle over the Pemulwuy Project and the Block may be close to resolution with the mention in the RWA’s 2006-07 Annual Report Statement from the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer that “$16 million of the total funds available will be committed to affordable housing specifically for Aboriginal residents, which will be in addition to housing owned or proposed by the Aboriginal Housing Company on AHC land in and around The Block in Redfern.” The AHC are supplying some additional information requested by the Department of Planning and are hopeful that the Concept Plan will be approved for exhibition soon.

Federal Parliament Convergence, Apology and Local Activities

A convergence on Canberra was already being organised before the announcement that the new Federal Government would use the opening of Parliament to make an apology to the Stolen Generations. The convergence is going ahead to highlight that even with an apology, human rights abuses are still continuing to occur in the NT.

The Convergence on Canberra is for Aboriginal people and their supporters to “Turn their back on Howard and Brough's racist legacy”. Buses will be leaving from the Block, opposite Redfern Station (7am for 7.30am departure), on Tuesday 12 February and returning Tuesday afternoon. Organisers are looking for more buses and spaces in cars with those driving to Canberra. Ring Janene with offers of space or to book a seat on the bus on 0416 490 481 - $20 ($10 concession). An attempt is also being made to get a bus to go down on Monday 11 Feb for forums. For more information http://aboriginalrightscoalition.wordpress.com/  or ring Shane Phillips 0414 077 631.

If you are making your own way to Canberra for the convergence meet at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy at 11:30am on Tuesday, February 12 2008 to March to Parliament for 1pm rally to Stand up for Aboriginal rights on the first day of the new parliament. The rally goals are:

  • Reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act
  • Demand immediate review of the NT intervention
  • End welfare quarantines, compulsory land acquisition and 'mission manager' powers
  • Implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs

Wednesday 13th February is the day for the apology and NSW Reconciliation Council advise that it will be televised from 9am on ABC and SBS television. The National Sorry Day Committee has requested that the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are flown on the day as a symbol of moving forward in unity. NSW Reconciliation Council will make available details of events being organised around Sydney on the 13th so check www.nswrecon.com  for details closer to the date.

Arrangements are being made to try and assist members of the Stolen Generation to get to Canberra for the apology on 13th February. Reconciliation Australia is collecting donations for the Stolen Generations Alliance and the National Sorry Day Committee to bring members of the Stolen Generations to Canberra for the apology. Follow this link to donate www.reconciliation.org.au/donate  .

Frasers get CUB DGRs for Remediation & Transitional Works

Frasers Property has lodged a Preliminary Assessment for site remediation, which sets its proposed approach to this stage of the project. The Preliminary Assessment has been prepared ahead of the full Project Application for remediation, which is likely to be lodged with the Department of Planning in late February / early March.

Frasers Broadway - Remediation and Transitional Works (MP 07_0163) application covers: “The proposed remediation/transitional works application include: demolition of basements and other structures and removal of piles not previously demolished or removed as part of the demolition and recycling project application (MP 07_0120); permanent stabilisation and protection of heritage buildings, retained structures and in-ground services infrastructure to Balfour and Irving streets; archaeological investigation; and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater on site”.

The Director General’s requirements were issued on 10th January 2008 and have not yet been added to the Frasers Broadway site. They can be downloaded from the DoP Major Projects site for (MP 07_0163) Director-General's requirements for Environmental Assessment (905 KB PDF). The Preliminary Assessment can be viewed on the DoP site or at http://www.frasersbroadway.com.au/broadway/important_documents.html.

Erskineville Supermarket DA Campaign

Village Friends in Erskineville have advised that the Council officers are now preparing a review of the DA for the Supermarket proposed for Erskineville. While the DA is not expected to go before council committee until March 2008 Village Friends are keeping up the pressure. The latest campaign involves writing to Woolworths who are said to be the operator interested in going into the development. For more information visit the Village Friends Website.  www.erskinevillevillage.org

Village to Village Shuttle Bus Expansion to Woolloomooloo

From 15th February 2008 an expansion of the successful Village to Village free bus network will allow people in Redfern and Waterloo to connect through to Woolloomooloo and St Vincent’s hospital. This new shuttle bus service will run Thursday and Friday of each week. It will start its journey from Woolloomooloo come up Macleay Street; call in at St Vincent's Hospital before heading to Surry Hills shopping centre. The bus terminates its journey at Poets Corner, Redfern where it meets up with the Redfern to Broadway shuttle service. The new service will be launched by the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore MP and free community brunch BBQ at Mary Macdonald Activity Centre, 82 Bourke Street, corner of Charles Street, Woolloomooloo between 10am - 11:30, Thursday 14 February 2008. More information is available on the CoS website Village to village shuttle bus launch.

ISRCSD’s Inner Voice looks at the DoH Human Service Accord

Over the past couple of years DoH has introduced several reforms - one of these is the Human Services Accord. The Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development’s Inner Voice in Issue 109 Spring-Summer 2007 has run an article on the accord under Linking Public Housing to Service Support. The article explains:

“The Accord is a policy framework to co-ordinate services for social housing residents through partnership agreements with the Department of Housing (DoH). The government departments that have signed up to the Accord including Community Services (DOCS), Ageing Disability and Home Care, Juvenile Justice, Corrective Services, NSW Health, NSW Police, Aboriginal Housing Office as well as Community Housing providers. The most important aspect of the Accord is that service providers get to nominate their clients for housing with the DoH. In return, the DoH gets assistance in maintaining the tenancies, services for their tenants and joint care planning where needed.”

The article concludes that: “If the Accord is to deliver the promised client focused and co-ordinated services for social housing residents, the government partners will need to engage with the non-government sector through the existing community networks, where co-ordination and planning of local service delivery occurs”.

To subscribe to Inner Voice visit www.innersydney.org.au/innersydneyvoice/subscribe.cfm

2006 Census figures now in CoS Community Profile

If you want to get a good picture of your suburb it is worth while spending some time on the CoS website looking at the City of Sydney Community Profile. CoS has recently added the 2006 Census figures to the profiles so you can now get the most up to date figures on Darlington, Redfern and Waterloo - Zetland.

CoS 2030 Emerging Directions Report

CoS has released its Emerging Directions Report which summarises work to date and highlights ideas being considered to ensure Sustainable Sydney 2030. The heart of Sustainable Sydney 2030 will be ten strategic directions that articulate what Council must undertake over the next 20 years to respond to community aspirations and the City's key challenges. The Emerging Directions report can be found at www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Development/2030/Default.asp

RWA and REDWatch Websites Summer Holiday cleanup

The RWA has made a few changes on their website over the break, they have added the ability to increase letter size and print of just the information on a particular page. They have also added a section for Yaama Dhiyaan and reworked a couple of other areas. Regrettably however the search function on their site still does not work!

There has also been a bit of tiding up on the REDWatch site mainly in terms of filing REDWatch statements into years in the same way it does for the RWA statements and in tidying up some of the items that did not easily fit into a section when they were first added. If you use the RSS feed of the Recent Changes on the site REDWatch apologises as the house keeping changes have been flagged as changes. Please note that some of the maintenance will also change some earlier links including ones on A List of Useful Web Links which we point media and researchers to, as it has also been updated. To improve other aspects of the website over the next couple of months REDWatch hopes to move the site to a later version of the website software being used.

RWA’s December 2007 Update

The RWA put out a December update after we left for our holiday. For those who might not have seen it the RWA Update contained the announcement about Global Television joining Seven Network at Redfern which was made when the Minister turned the first sod for the Channel 7 development at the ATP. The Update also announced that the RWA had approved its application for the Eveleigh community markets to go ahead at the former Blacksmiths Shop next to CarriageWorks. Of special interest to some of the Regent and Redfern Street shop keepers was news that Group Colleges Australia (GCA) has applied to occupy ten levels of the former TNT Tower building in Lawson Square which has subsequently been approved by the RWA. “About one thousand students from Metro English College, St James College and Central College will attend classes from March 2008 in new, purpose built educational facilities, which will also be available for use by other affiliated GCA colleges. Over one hundred teaching and administrative staff will work at the centre which will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 9pm.”

The RWA Update also dealt with Sydney Festival at Carriageworks and provided a report on the Seniors Christmas Party. The PDF version can be downloaded from the RWA website Redfern Waterloo Update December 2007 (pdf ~651kb) or a text version can be found on REDWatch website December 2007 - RWA Update - text version.

South Sydney Herald February 2008

The February South Sydney Herald is out SSH February 2008 (2.8 MB PDF) with a number of stories about what has been happening in the area over the last two months. Two articles, Questions for Redfern Police and Police activities must be monitored by Joseph Correy raise major issues about Aboriginal / Police relations in Redfern Waterloo. Aboriginal / Police relations are bound to be covered by the Inquiry into Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage which starts hearings this month. The SSH also covers Rachel Forster site sold to highest bidder and Housing NSW’s Walker Street housing project underway. Pop singer and Aussie icon Missy Higgins visit to Redfern is covered in Missy in action on behalf of the AMS while Legacy of a “cruel and heartless” government looks at the experience of Redfern Aboriginal Corporation following the closure of the Community Development Employment Program by the Howard Government and its replacement by the STEP ERS program. The SSH also covers the Human Rights Award for Redfern Legal Centre (congratulations from us too) and gives a report on the Yabun Festival 2008.

In Have You Heard Trevor Davies covers the Smith Family run “Student to Student” reading program, Leigh Coleman leaving Hillsong Emerge, rumours about an offer for the Redfern Street Catholic Presbytery, Redfern artist Pamela Neville, Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre, Redfern Involvement in the Canberra Convergence of February 12 and pub opening hours. There is also Marking time and place - Artist Profile: Michelle Frances Collocott , a report about Dominic Grenot in City of Sydney supports public tenants and on Simon Williams sailing from South Sydney to Hobart. Incinerator makes way for civic centre looks at demolition of the Waterloo Incinerator to make way for the Green Square town centre while Rosebery residents challenge mega-church covers oppositions to Hillsong’s DA. On the oral history side Erskineville stories for the big screen provides details of a film project talking to older Erskineville residents.

In the Media

Redfern Waterloo has remained in the media over the holiday period with a report on Sydney Symphony concert for the isolated covering Redfern and Inner City Home Support Service taking 70 of its clients to an Opera House concert. Green Square’s proposed $1.7 billion town centre got a story on January 1 2008 in Blowing Waterloo's stack for green square.

The SMH's the (sydney) magazine produced a list of Sydney's 100 most influential people for their January 2008 Issue #57. Included in the list were a few identities well known around Redfern including - Dr Naomi Mayers - from the AMS; Col James - Architect with long association with the Block; Anthony Mundine - boxer and Clover Moore - Lord Mayor of Sydney. The extracts on each of these people are on the REDWatch site under Sydney's Top 100

Hugh puts his faith in youth covers a story about a Mosman teenager’s experience with World Vision volunteering with the “disadvantaged sections of Redfern's Aboriginal community”. Finally the Australia Day Honours list recognised Les Tobler and the SMH ran a story on him titled Olympian efforts for workers.

Souths in the News

The Souths Leagues Club’s decision to put its poker machines in mothballs Souths Leagues Club Say No to Pokies received international attention! We read about it in London in Russell Crowe dumps cheerleaders for children . It was also covered in the SMH’s Pokies dumped by Souths Leagues Club. Much of the area’s history as it involves the South Sydney Football Club will be on show in 2008 as a result of the Club’s centenary year celebrations which got off to a start on 17th January 2008 with Rabbitohs Mark Centenary with 100 Year Enactment.

Exodus Centre Redfern Graduation

On 16th December Bill Crews Exodus Foundation held a graduation ceremony at Redfern Town Hall for sixteen of the twenty seven children who had completed the Redfern remedial reading program launched early last year by the Reverend Bill Crews of the Exodus Foundation. We have not seen anything from Exodus about how the programme is running, but Miranda Devine from the SMH covered the event and provided some information in The word is hope. In the article Miranda Devine reports “All the children who have completed the program have achieved excellent results, says Wheldall, despite some attendance problems. After 14 weeks' instruction, the first group of 18 slow-progress readers, from years 3 to 6, increased their reading accuracy by an average 15 months, reading comprehension by 14 months, word recognition by 12 months and non-word reading by 27 months.”

Connect Redfern - Updated Children & Family Lists

Each term Connect Redfern issues updates lists for Children and Family services in Redfern Waterloo. We have posted the lists for Term 1 2008 on the REDWatch site at http://www.redwatch.org.au/redw/services/connectredfern . The four lists are Events Courses and Workshops (2.6 MB PDF) Making Connections ( 567 KB PDF), Community Service Contacts (109 Kb PDF) and Information for Parents (47 Kb PDF).

Vodafone Foundation Australia “Volunteers” Grant

The Vodafone Foundation World of Difference program is offering the chance for a person to be paid to devote a year of their time to a charity or non-profit organisation of their choice. The programme involves a salary of up to $50,000 plus $25,000 in related expenses. For more information - www.vodafone-myway.com.au/wod/  

Easy Cooking on a Budget – Starts 20th February 2008

This course for vulnerable young parents and parents-to-be in Inner Sydney. The 6 week course – commencing Wednesday 20th February then every Wednesday after that (27th February, 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th March) at ‘Our Place’, Poet’s Corner, Moorehead Street Shops, Redfern from 9.30am-1pm. Learn different recipes, learn how to budget, plan, prepare and cook affordable meals for your family, learn about good nutrition, break down social isolation, meet other young people, build your confidence as parents. Childcare provided. Contact: Sally at SDN on 9698 3144 / email s.waterford@sdn.org.au or Natasha Davies from Binya on natasha.davies@email.cs.nsw.gov.au or 9515 9762 to book into the course. The course is run by RWA, Binya Gurung Aboriginal Antenatal and Early Childhood Health Service, SDN Children's Services Inc. Partnerships with Parents and Poet’s Corner Projects. The course will also run again in May-June 2008.

Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations

Sorry the following came and went while we were away:

Below we have listed consultations currently open for community input and provided a link for further information: 

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Upcoming Events
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