Rev John Dacey, a Deacon in the Uniting Church in Australia, is the Team Leader at MDCM. It was established in 2003 as a cooperative ministry of the Parramatta-Nepean Presbytery of the UCA, and Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. Based in the Bidwell Uniting Church Community Centre it provides a place of welcome and hospitality, and a range of community based programs focusing on personal and community capacity building to people living in the Mt Druitt region, one of the most disadvantaged communities in NSW.
The Community welfare programs include a Community Animation Project, a community and personal transformation program facilitating residents in action for change and learning for personal growth. It is jointly funded by UnitingCare NSW.ACT and Catholic Social Services, Parramatta Diocese.
MDCM also coordinates a Housing Communities Program, funded by Housing NSW. It is a community development project that aims to increase social cohesion and wellbeing. It utilizes the Asset Based Community Development framework and other engagement and participation strategies.
The Willmont CyberCafe (funded by Housing NSW, DOCS and other partners) is a community enterprise involving training programs, volunteering and community activities centred on Information and Communication Technology and café operations.
MDCM has numerous programs and groups for children, youth, young others and older people, including mentoring and home tutoring to high absentee primary school students.
It has developed into a significant and respected service in the area, demonstrating its commitment and capacity to implement and successfully maintain programs that build community capacity and existing strengths; and to build successful partnerships with churches, community service providers and others.
The service supports in excess of 2000 people annually and is operated by seven paid staff supported by six volunteers. The operating costs are met through financial contributions from Catholic Social Services, the Uniting Church and UnitingCare NSW.ACT, along with small donations, and government grants.
(source: UnitingCare report)