A WORD FROM OUR CEO, ROSANNA BARBERO…

Addison Road Community Organisation can proudly mark 2019 as a year of achievement in the face of significant challenges. While the community sector as a whole continued to experience disruption, ARCO responded with bold and ambitious initiatives.

In the following pages [of our Annual Report 2019), you will bear witness to the many results we achieved this year. They reinforce that Addison Road Community Organisation is uniquely positioned to respond to the needs of our diverse community in courageous, integrated and creative ways.

We are catalysing change in many areas, illustrated by just a few key moments from a packed year:

 

      • Our Conservation Management Plan by heritage consultants Phillips Marler was highly commended with a National Trust Heritage Award, recognition of a vital guiding document that is helping us manage and conserve a significant community heritage asset into the future.
      • We initiated the inaugural ‘Re-thinking the Urban Forest’ conference, an innovative interdisciplinary event that tackled topics central to communities’ concerns. In a global context of climate emergency, overdevelopment and resource depletion, Addison Road Community Organisation acts locally to create platforms for collaboration and change. This project contributes to the UN Sustainability Goals; 3. good health and well- being, 11. sustainable cities and communities, and 13. climate action.
      • We published a best-selling children’s book! The Hollow Tree (which hit the charts at Better Read Than Dead, Newtown) represents the culmination of many projects and the contributions of many people: our Public Schools Arts Festival; a citizen science project; and years of tree management policy and practice. More than 100 primary school children created the illustrations for the book while learning about urban environments and biodiversity. The result is an educative and entertaining story of our valued Urban Habitat Tree. Our creative approach to dealing with a dying tree has turned into a story that will inspire a generation to rethink the urban forest. The book has made its way to classrooms in Palestine, India, Cambodia, New Zealand and Singapore and next year we plan to translate it to Arabic and Mandarin.
      • New donor partnerships with an international Muslim aid agency bolstered our capacity to implement a mobile food pantry in Sydney’s South West, guaranteeing that communities in need are accessing culturally appropriate and nutritious groceries as well as wrap- around services to help them navigate Australian systems.
      • We partnered with the Australian Council of Social Services, Poverty Week, University of Sydney’s Student Union and the Australian Unemployed Workers Union to lead a local campaign to raise Newstart, Youth Allowance and related Centrelink payments to above poverty-line levels. The Raise the Rate Inner West campaign group is part of our work to address inequality in our community. Together, we provided capacity and opportunities for those affected to raise their voices and tell their stories in the media; to a Senate Inquiry; and in several public forums, including successful advocacy for the adoption of a resolution by Inner West Council.
      • With Metro Migrant Assist, we stepped up to co-chair the newly formed Inner West Multicultural Network. The network has a membership of 120 agencies, collaborating to advocate, run events, share information and critique policies that affect multicultural communities. As a united group of civil society organisations, we successfully campaigned to ensure that Inner West Council develops synergies and diversity of multiculturalism in Australia.
      • We launched the WOW Food! Inner West project, a locally based pilot project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. WOW Food! Inner West will provide an understanding of the range of issues that prevent food-related businesses in the Inner West from becoming active in food rescue and donation. It is a vital opportunity to identify and establish best-practice systems for food rescue and donation that can be replicated in other local government areas.
      • A new award for multicultural history sponsored by Addison Road Community Organisation was awarded by the History Council NSW this year. The aim of the annual prize is to advance our 43 year history of working with multicultural communities andand emerging historians to discover, analyse and explore multicultural histories and the history of multiculturalism in Australia.Over the year, Addison Road Community Organisation has been a proud partner with over 80 agencies. Local businesses have also partnered with us to help achieve our goals by donating food, groceries, household items and funds as well as time and services. We have worked with dozens of community-based groups and networks, charities, schools, universities, inter-agencies and government organisations, as we all stepped up our efforts to build a stronger, more resilient and sustainable community.

This year we continued to demonstrate that we are up to the challenge of serving our community with the largest and most diverse programme delivery in five years and restored financial stability, after legal and building compliance increased in the financial year. Although disappointing because that depleted our financial reserves, the Centre’s sustainability into the future became a powerful motivator for thewas gained thanks to the dedication of our multi-talented staff, more than 300 volunteers, a steadfast and zealous Board of Directors and a raft of supportive donors.

Over the year, Addison Road Community Organisation has been a proud partner with over 80 agencies. Local businesses have also partnered with us to help achieve our goals by donating food, groceries, household items and funds as well as time and services. We have worked with dozens of community-based groups and networks, charities, schools, universities, inter-agencies and government organisations, as we all stepped up our efforts to build a stronger, more resilient and sustainable community.

2020 will be a year of more decisive action. It is clear that the human and environmental challenges we face cannot be addressed alone. One year in, our more democratic constitution has provided a more diverse input into our organisation and shifted the control of decision- makers out of the hands of a few interested parties and into broader care. Addison Road Community Organisation is once again counting on its members, staff, volunteers, partners, donors and other stakeholders to help us make the difference, as you have done in the past. Thank you all for your past and future hard work and never-ending commitment. Together, we can deliver on our mandate for people and planet.

The full Addison Road Community Organisation Annual Report 2019 can be found here: ARCO 2019 Annual Report

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