Western Sydney has been a focus for election campaigning this year. It is an area of Sydney that struggles with issues of housing, unemployment, violence, and social-economic issues.
Uniting Church deacon and community minister John Dacey said despite
many isolated and vulnerable locals struggling with poor housing and
unemployment, there was a strong sense of community in Mount Druitt.
''There is a good feeling here. It's not like the
middle-class suburbs where people just hide in their McMansions and
don't talk to each other,'' he said.
He cited successful programs such as the Midnight Basketball
tournament bringing 50 to 60 young people together every Friday night
for team sport and life skill workshops.
''Recent events are just a coincidence. There is no simple
catalyst. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened. Overall, I'd say
Mount Druitt is improving. I've seen the improvement over the past 10
Rev John Dacey highlights the way strategic programs can positively benefit the local community. The Mt Druit Community Ministry provides a place of welcome and
hospitality, information and referral, and leisure and learning
activities such as playgroup, afer-school activates and helping students
struggling with conventional schooling. Five congregations – four of
them Pacific communities – use the centre for worship. Community Minister, Rev. John Dacey is involved with monthly
English-speaking services with two of the congregations, seeking to
reach out to the wider community as well as maintain their cultural
traditions. An Indigenous Children and Youth Worker runs weekly
children’s programs, acts as a role model and mentor for both Indigenous
and other Australian kids, and leads Bible study and worship.
(* Read the full article from the Sydney Morning Herald (August 2012) here)