Community GroupsNews

Counterpoint merger

The Factory Community Centre and South Sydney Community Aid (SSCA) announced that from May 1, 2017 the two organisations have official merged to form Counterpoint Community Services Inc. (CCS)

Counterpoint coworkers Mike, Angelo, Laura, Bill, Kira, Grant, Di, Natasha Photo Kat Hines
Counterpoint coworkers Mike, Angelo, Laura, Bill, Kira, Grant, Di, Natasha Photo Kat Hines

Each organisation has worked closely over the last few years to service the Redfern and Waterloo community and surrounds. Both organisations share the same mission and vision; the merger just made sense.

“The conversation about the merger took about four years. After lots of due diligence, trial staff secondments and joint projects, integration of board members, some small bureaucratic and legal hurdles, the merger has finally been concluded,” said Jose Perez, Chairperson of Counterpoint.

Both agencies are grateful for the assistance received from Justice Connect which provided pro-bono legal support from DLA Piper and Carroll & O’Dea, and all the stakeholders’ inputs into the process.

“Each agency has a rich history and its own specialties. The two teams combined will complement each other’s work and our collective strength will help us remain sustainable and flexible to community needs whilst improving the quality of our service delivery,” said Michael Shreenan, CCS Executive Officer.

Bill Yan, previously SSCA’s Executive Officer, is now the Operations Manager of the new entity and its centres. All staff have been retained under this merger.

Both organisations are well respected in the area for their individual and family support services, as well as their independent advocacy and community development programs. They are also responsible for leading the partnership of our community’s major annual events such as Playgroups in the Park, Redfern Neighbourhood Day, Summer on the Green and Redfern Waterloo Volunteer Awards. Counterpoint also operates the accredited Poets Corner Pre-school and is a major stakeholder in the local multicultural playgroups in partnerships with Connect Redfern and Alexandria Park Community School.

The transition of SSCA to CCS would have had no impact on the day-to-day operation of services to the community except that SSCA’s premises, the Alexandria Town Hall, are undergoing a major restoration as part of the City of Sydney refurbishment program. All SSCA’s operations from Alexandria Town Hall will be conducted in the interim period under the name Counterpoint Multicultural.

“The merger will allow the boosting of resources to assist local residents through the Waterloo redevelopment, which will be the biggest development faced by social housing residents ever seen in Australia,” said Bill Yan.

The former Chairperson of SSCA, Ed Everett, who is now a director of CCS, added, “We will be exploring how our combined resources can grow and service other communities. However we continue to serve the need and appreciate the support from our diverse local residents and funders.

“As the new combined organisations, we have over 90 years of experience in the area and both agencies gave birth to many other organisation servicing Sydney now. This just the next step our journey. We are very proud of our staff teams and the work they do.”

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