‘Food’, ‘community’, ‘shop’ best things about Lakemba

IN stark contrast to the rest of NSW (65.4 per cent), only 32 per cent of Lakemba residents were born in Australia.

The rest of the residents were born elsewhere, most commonly in Bangladesh (15 per cent), India (8.8 per cent), Pakistan (5.3 per cent), Myanmar (4.3 per cent), and Lebanon (3.4 per cent).
As such, the area can experience different types of challenges which local community services have been trying to shed light on and come up with solutions to since conducting their first Listening@Lakemba initiative in 2011.
Over the last two months, Canterbury City Community Centre (4CS) – in partnership with Bankstown TAFE and WESTIR – have surveyed over 380 residents to identify aspects of life in Lakemba that people like or would like to see changed.
The Listening@Lakemba Community lunch and forum invited saw a further 150 community members and service providers come together to hear the results and discuss solutions to the issues raised.
Challenges raised by the respondents included lack of job opportunities in the area, language and communication barriers, racism and discrimination, the cost of living as well as healthcare and medications, mental health challenges, transportation, parking and the need for improved cleanliness.
‘Food’, ‘community’, and ‘shop’ were the three most common responses to what respondents liked about Lakemba.
4CS community worker Romana Waseem said there were many suggestions and ideas, including more activities for women, young people and children, multicultural festivals and events as well as a need to reduce litter and household dumping.
“It was great to see so many people come together to share ideas and talk about what they could do to make Lakemba a better place to live, work and play,” she said.