Independent assistance for master planning
WATERLOO: Kira Osborne and Thomas Chailloux recently started work to independently resource tenants and the broader community during planning for the Waterloo redevelopment. An Aboriginal community worker will join them after the Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) establishes an independent recruitment process with key Aboriginal stakeholders.
While funding comes from LAHC to agencies, Counterpoint Community Services (The Factory) employs Kira and Inner Sydney Voice (ISV) employs Thomas. Their work is guided by the Groundswell agencies, which pushed for the independent positions. Groundswell includes South Sydney Community Aid, Counterpoint, ISV, Redfern Legal Centre, Tenants’ Union of NSW and Shelter NSW.
Kira, who has a degree in psychological science and previously worked with high-risk youth and their families, fills a position similar to Laura Kelly’s community development role, but with a specific focus on the redevelopment. She will be secretary to the Waterloo Redevelopment Group (WRG) established by the elected tenant representative body – the Waterloo Neighbourhood Advisory Board (NAB).
The WRG is open to community groups, agencies and interested tenants as well as NAB representatives and exists to advise FACS on communication and engagement activities. Dare Kavanagh, who knows the area and process well from her earlier involvement in LAHC’s 2011 Waterloo masterplan, was elected as its independent chair. She has subsequently left LAHC and is back working in the non-government sector managing Reverse Garbage in Marrickville.
Kira told the SSH: “I believe that everyone impacted by the redevelopment should be respected, consulted and heard in an active and genuine way.” She has quickly identified “the incredibly diverse and connected community that exists within Waterloo”, saying, “I hope my role can capture and highlight these strengths, ensuring the rich culture of Waterloo is maintained”.
Thomas Chailloux fills a capacity-building role, the purpose of which he sees is to “work with people to overcome barriers to their effective participation in the master planning process”. He will create the tools that tenants, surrounding residents and relevant community organisations need to have their voices heard and respected in the Waterloo redevelopment. Thomas worked for the City of Paris and has a background in Urban Public Policy. He told the SSH the job will give him scope to work with “his passion for participatory democracy processes, his strong commitment to social justice and involvement of people in developing public policies”.
FACS spokesperson provided the following statement:
Tenant relocations will not commence until mid-2018 at the earliest. FACS will work closely with residents relocating temporarily and support them throughout the relocation process.
The intention is for the majority of residents to be able to move from their current homes directly into the new social housing as it is completed. Any residents who are temporarily relocated will be offered the opportunity to move back to a new home in Waterloo.
Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and Land and Housing Corporation staff based at Ashfield are leading communications and engagement for the master planning exercise. Waterloo Connect will be involved in the master planning consultation activities.
FACS staff work from Waterloo Connect conducting client service visits so that any tenancy issues can continue to be addressed and so they are kept up to date on the redevelopment in order to help address any questions residents may have. The client service visits will continue throughout the year.
Engagement with the Aboriginal community in Waterloo is a fundamental aspect to the Waterloo redevelopment program. FACS is currently engaging with Aboriginal stakeholders to ensure the Aboriginal worker role meets the Aboriginal community’s needs. Once further consultation with these stakeholders has taken place, an independent recruitment process will be undertaken to find the right person for this role.
The redevelopment of the Waterloo estate is a long term program over 15-20 years. Capacity building will commence in April this year, and master planning will start in May. Next month FACS will release a schedule of master planning activities so the community can have their say and be informed when and how they can get involved.