Newtown’s community champion turns 40

Story appeared in: Inner West Times | November 30th, 2017

From 1977-2017, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC) has helped shape Newtown into the vibrant and diverse community that it is today.
In recent years, the Centre has been key to some significant community action including a campaign to make housing affordable in Sydney, positively responding to concerns about the effects of the lock- out laws, a successful campaign to make Newtown train station accessible and community backing when Newtown Market was threatened with closure.
"Newtown Neighbourhood Centre opened in the 70's when many social services and community action groups were established to address community concerns," Liz Yeo, CEO of NNC said.
"The Centre has maintained that tradition while staying relevant and connected to the changing demographics in the Inner West."
On Tuesday, December 5, the Centre will celebrate its 40th Anniversary with displays and special guests pivotal to each era presenting to the invitees:
• Vivi Koutsounadis who set up NNC, and John Butcher, the first co-ordinator from 1977, will share stories of Newtown as it was four decades ago and why NNC was established.
• Lisa Burns, previous CEO, will tell of the beginnings of the Centre's work in boarding houses and homelessness for which it is now a sector leader.
A reflection of the Centre's diverse community involvement, Newtown Festival began 39 years ago with a couple of bands playing under the trees in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. It has grown into the jam packed all-day event that recognises the artistic and quirky nature of the Newtown community and is the Centre's major fundraiser.
Newtown Neighbourhood Centre exists to create a more inclusive, resilient, vibrant and self-reliant community. They are a not-for-profit incorporated association.

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Publication: Inner West Times | Section: News | Author: Mark Kirkland | Story ID: 133264 | Viewcount: 7959