(Community Recognition Statement, 27 May 2015, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
I bring to the attention of members the vital role of the Surry Hills community development worker and congratulate Housing NSW on making that position permanent. The position was established in 2002 in response to the advocacy of Clover Moore, a former member of Parliament. The department has now made the position permanent which provides job security and enables the achievement of long-term projects. The community development worker now services other inner city areas beyond Surry Hills and successive workers have engaged residents, reduced isolation, increased the safety, health and wellbeing of tenants, and reduced transfers and complaints, property damage and police or tribunal intervention.
I applaud Kira Weiss, the current community development worker, on successfully working with the Surry Hills Tenants Association to staff the community room and introduce services such as Centrelink, food aid, exercise, art and computer classes. She has coordinated safety audits, the Northcott community garden and group, reopened other community rooms, and held graffiti-removal days. I look forward to working with the community development workers who service other estates and offer support for residents.