Community can be a strange and unexpected thing. You can’t always advertise and promote or express it easily. Then something special happens – like last night – and everything about what we do and who we are comes together without us even trying.
We hope you feel some of that spirit in our newly-formed and somewhat loosely gathered ‘Addi Road Band’ doing their fine version of Waltzing Matilda in the video link we have provided immediately below.
The singing takes place at our Wednesday Night Lights, where we partner with Street Side Medics, a group of doctors and nurses who pull up in their van to offer free medical advice and treatment to the homeless and whoever may need it, no questions asked, from 6pm to 8pm.
For Wednesday Night Lights we also keep our Addi Road Food Pantry open till 7pm. It’s our low cost grocery story, sourcing rescued food to help the environment and ensure food gets home to people battling the rising cost of living. Once you do a small shop we offer you a selection of free bread, fruit and vegetables too, depending on our supplies and our range from week to week.
Outside on the road, between the Addi Road Food Pantry Marrickville and where the Street Side Medics van is parked, we light up a warm open fire.
We also put down a table with a couple of big silver urns. It’s here that we serve free hot meals every Wednesday night for anyone who might be hungry while people do their shopping or get some free medical help, or just sit round warming themselves and talking and enjoying some company.
We’ve started to offer other wraparound services for Wednesday Night Lights too … from free clothes and kids books, to free legal advice and help with Centrelink. We are yet to make those offering regularly available, but they are in steady development and happening from time to time. It’s coming together bit by bit –and it feels pretty good as we step along together.
It’s certainly a varied bunch of people and happenings at Wednesday Night Lights, that is for sure.
The Fijian Community has lately joined us, sitting themselves down to serenade our staff and volunteers providing the free hot meals and running the Food Pantry, as well as the doctors and nurses of Street Side Medics, and whoever happens to be gathered round the fire talking and enjoying the night.
It was a beautiful thing to witness them performing as the Addi Road Food Pantry closed its doors for the night and the doctors and nurses of Street Side Medics relaxed and all those present sang and laughed and danced around our fire.
After a rousing version of Bob Marley and the Wailers ‘Redemption Song’, the Addi Road Band launched into ‘Waltzing Matilda’. They were helped on percussion by their latest member, our good friend John Bartholomew on the Lagerphone.
As they launched into the song the band dedicated it to “the Matildas” football team and “the Wallabies”. Everyone and everything felt connected. Protest and action, joy and spirit, all coming together in a uniquely multicultural and community way down at Addi Road.
Waltzing Matilda VIDEO link here:
Film by Gurwinder Kaur
Story by Mark Mordue