First key need focus talks

TACKLING domestic violence, homelessness and the cost of living were just some of the key topics of discussion at City of Canterbury Bankstown’s inaugural CommUNITY Connect conference.

Representatives from more than 60 different community and Government organisations came together over the two-day conference to share ideas and come up with strategies to better address community needs.
A series of interactive workshops brought together the community organisations to identify needs that have presented over the past year and break down the siloed approach to service provision.
Discussions focussed on intersectionality at all stages of life (children, youth, adult and ageing) and targeted marginalised communities including people who are culturally and linguistically diverse, first nations people, people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and people with disability.
Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek said the conference was a first for the council and a huge success in bringing local organisations together.
“The council cannot tackle the big issues alone and it’s great to see so many organisations offer up their ideas and solutions,” Mayor El-Hayek said.
“Issues like domestic violence, homelessness and the cost of living are crippling our community and we must work together to stamp them out.
“All information collected from the workshops will shape the council’s strategies and plans for the next year.”
The conference replaced the council’s annual social planning workshops and its outcomes will help determine the priorities for the council’s 2024 Community Grants Program and shape the council’s strategies and plans.