Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. CC49/11 Page 0


Social Plan Annual Report Card 2011



Community Development


Council’s Community Services Branch consists of a multidisciplinary team of human service professionals working within a community development framework to enhance the social and cultural wellbeing of the community. The Community Development Team is responsible for social planning and community development. The Team seeks to identify community needs and plan appropriate support and services through the Social Plan 2010-14 and is aligned to the Community Strategic Plan.  The Social Plan 2010-14 is a strategic planning document that is underpinned by annual operational plans. These operational plans detail the work that the Community Development Team undertake including working with a variety of local community service providers, both government and non-government.  


The Report On Achievements details key achievements and highlights for the year 2010/11. Details of the 2011/12 services plan can be found on Council’s website http://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au


Society and Culture


Key Goal:- Support Healthy Interactive Communities



Be Safe Be Prepared Project

Council received a grant of $65,620 from The Federal Attorney-General’s Department to deliver a 12 month project called ‘Be Safe Be Prepared’. The project includes the delivery of a series of crime prevention education sessions across the Shire. These education sessions include topics such as keeping safe in the home and neighbourhood, keeping personal banking information safe and preventing scams. A number of organisations provided guest speakers at the sessions. These organisations included Bendigo Bank, Suncorp Bank, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, NSW Police, Eastwood and Ku-ring-gai Local Command.

The education sessions were held in Hornsby, Epping, Pennant Hills, Cherrybrook, Berowra and Wiseman’s Ferry. More sessions are planned for 2011/12.


Home Modification


The Home Modification and Maintenance Service is funded through Family and Community Services, Ageing Disability and Homecare and aims to keep people who are older, frail aged and people with a disability in their own homes for as long as possible. Approximately 1000 home modification and maintenance jobs were completed in the 2010/11 financial year.


The service has also received $16,000 additional funding to provide a one-off gutter cleaning service for clients and free smoke alarm installations for financially disadvantaged clients. Providing information on fire safety and prevention in the home has been a top priority for the service with over 300 fire safety books distributed to service users during 2010/11.


Hornsby & Region Community Drug Action Team (CDAT)


Council supports the work of the Hornsby and Region Community Drug Action Team which is funded by NSW Health. The team implemented a Forum Theatre Project, which presented to over 300 school students at Pennant Hills High School on the issue of alcohol consumption. This particular project was funded by a grant from the Alcohol Education and Research (AER) Foundation.


During Drug Action Week in June, the team held a stall in the Hornsby Mall to inform and educate the local community about alcohol and other drugs. Equipment used at the event included a “smokerlyzer” that measured carbon monoxide levels in smoker’s lungs. The community also had and opportunity to complete a survey and test their knowledge on alcohol and drug use.  


Hornsby Homelessness Count


On the evening of Sunday, 6 February 2011, Hornsby Shire Council led a count of homeless people who live in the Shire. Approximately 80 volunteers worked on the night with several members of the Hornsby Homelessness Taskforce assisting as Team Leaders. Hornsby TAFE Outreach provided training for all of volunteers. The total of the count was 41, including 13 rough sleepers and 28 people living in temporary accommodation. These numbers excluded people living in bush, caves and couch surfing.


Brooklyn Homeless Open Day


An Open Day for homeless people was held at the Brooklyn Community Health Centre in May. Council ran the event in partnership with Centrelink. Twelve homeless people attended the day and received support from the following services; NSW Housing, Centrelink, Food For Life, the Police, Mental Health Team, GP Network Northside, Salvation Army and local Church groups. The day also included free food, haircuts, showers, clothes, blankets and the provision of other basic products provided to homeless people.


Community Donations Programme


Council’s Community Donations Programme provides financial assistance to community groups and organisations that implement initiatives to address social and community issues in the Hornsby Shire. 38 community groups and organisations were successful in sharing approximately $51,000 in funding from Council.


Minor changes have been made to the 2011/2012 Donations Programme to ensure that funds awarded to community groups and organisations are strategically aligned with priorities identified in Council’s Social Plan 2010-2014 and the Community Development Annual Operational Plan 2011-2012.


Key Goal:- Create a sense of Belonging


Seniors’ Week Festival 2011


Council facilitated a month-long ’Seniors Festival’ in March. The Festival included approximately 80 events that were provided by a range of local organisations and services. 5,000 promotional booklets were distributed and approximately 3,600 people attended the events throughout the Shire.


National Youth Week


Hornsby Shire Council won the 2011 Youth Week Award for the “Most Innovative Youth Week Program” at this year’s Local Government Week Awards night which was held on 3 August 2011. National Youth Week was held from 1-10 April, 2011. Council ran a number of events during Youth Week which included a skate clinic in Brooklyn, a ‘have your say’ event in Epping, ‘Music in the Mall’ live performances in the Hornsby Mall, launched a new recipe book for young parents (in partnership with Hornsby/Waitara Community Hub, Hornsby TAFE & Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai Community College), hosted Heat 1 of the very popular “Rock the Block 3” youth band competition and coordinated an “Amazing Race” event for members of the same sex attracted support group called Gal@(h).


Healthy Living


Council continues to partner and support Home and Community Care Services across the Shire> These services include Meals on Wheels, Community Transport and Neighbour Aid Services, all of whom support people who are frail aged and/or people with a disability and their carers.


Council continues to distribute a range of information to the community. This has included 2000 copies of the North Shore Seniors Guide.  A ‘help a neighbour’ leaflet, which is designed to encourage people to get to know their neighbours, was also distributed to 5000 people. 


Council has delivered free ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ community information sessions throughout the year by working in partnership with the Cancer Council, Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia, Easy Transport, NSW Health and Alzheimer’s Australia.


Low cost exercise classes have supported people in the community by promoting living a healthier lifestyle and providing social inclusion opportunities. Over 117 people participated in activities each week. Activities have included Tai Chi, ‘Heart Moves’ gentle exercise, Line Dancing classes and “Stepping On” (a falls prevention program). Cooking classes, including a men’s cooking class, have also been successful. Some of these activities have been made available through a ‘positive ageing’ grant of $5,000 which has been used to subsidise costs in order to encourage participation.


Over 55’s expo


An Over 55’s Expo event was held in Eastwood Plaza in partnership with Ryde Council, Parramatta Council and a range of community organisations. The Expo featured over 50 information stalls and was visited by over 200 people on the day.


Family Expo


A Family Expo was organised in partnership with Hornsby/Waitara Community Hub which is operated by Mission Australia. Approximately 140 people attended and received information from a range of different services including family support, education, health, family relations and child care.



Rock the Block 3


The third annual “Rock the Block” Youth Band Competition included three events in April, May and June and attracted over 750 young people and their families. 58 performers were able to showcase their talents in this public forum. The event was also supported by local businesses and clubs. The competition has become a great place for young people in the local area to get experience playing in front of a “live” audience with the support of professional stage, sound and lighting equipment.


Live in the Mall


The ‘Live in the Mall’ sessions are free live events that have been held once a month in the Hornsby Mall. This program is designed to support local talent and also to create a point of interest for people visiting the Mall.



Key Goal:- Meet our Diverse Communities Needs


Families NSW and the Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy (strategies of the NSW State Government) fund the Northern Sydney Aboriginal Community Facilitation Project which provides a number of local and regional events each year for Aboriginal people. Hornsby Council has delivered this project to the community since 2005. Events and activities implemented by the project in 2010/11 have included:-  


Christmas in the Bush


“Christmas in the Bush”, is an annual get together for the Northern Sydney Aboriginal community. 130 people attended the event at Taronga Zoo in November.  The day was supported by Taronga Zoo and families were able to access CityRail travel discounts through the state governments Family Fun Day fares program.


Service Consultations


Opportunities were provided for “mainstream” services to hear what the Aboriginal community thought about service delivery in the Northern Sydney region. There were four events held throughout the year which were attended by approximately 100 staff from 25 different organisations. These consultations have lead to a review of service delivery for Aboriginal people in the Northern Sydney region.


Community Day

A Community Day was held in the Hornsby Mall in May in order to provide service information to the Aboriginal community. Twenty different services attended.


Creation of Aboriginal Games Kit


An Aboriginal Games Kit has been created with the help of the Hornsby Wood Working Men’s Shed. The kit has been used in preschools, primary schools and high schools and is designed to enhance cultural understanding. There are games and activities for all ages, all settings and the kit is versatile enough to be utilised in natural settings like bushland and parks.


Other activities designed to support our diverse community included:


Children’s Voices for Reconciliation


Council presented the 10th annual Children’s Voices for Reconciliation in July. Ten schools performed. The event is designed to mark Reconciliation Week and to celebrate Sorry Day. It is an opportunity for the community to share stories of Aboriginal culture and heritage. The event is an opportunity to see children perform short stories, songs and poems, to see an Aboriginal smoking ceremony and meet with Aboriginal Elders. 


Hornsby Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee


The Hornsby Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee (HATSICC) continues to meet bimonthly. The Committee members include traditional owner/custodian groups, local Aboriginal people and other local people with a demonstrated commitment to the principles of Reconciliation. Advice is given to Councillors and staff on Aboriginal culture and heritage issues.


Exhibition of Chinese Calligraphy and Paintings


Council partnered with the Australian Artists Society (AAS) to organise an exhibition of Chinese Calligraphy and Paintings. The exhibition was held in the Hornsby Library in April and showcased 50 art works including Chinese calligraphy, paintings and micro carvings. Approximately 70 people attended the opening including local artists, art teachers and local residents. The launch included demonstrations of calligraphy and paintings by Chinese artists. The exhibition has provided an opportunity for our local community to learn more about Chinese culture and helped to raise awareness of diversity in our community. Council is now working in partnership with AAS to set up a locally based art group.


WIN Personal Development Program


Council worked in partnership with MTC Work Solutions, to organise a ten day course entitled, WIN “Personal Development Program” for women. The program was designed to help women improve their self esteem and confidence and to set goals that they want to achieve. The evaluation conducted on the participants showed that 95% of participants felt more confident, positive and happy about themselves after the course. 80% of the participants stated that their goals centred around seeking training, further education, find a job and/or to be more independent.


Supporting families


In partnership with the Department of Education and Community, Council presented six information sessions to parent/ family groups and English conversation groups. The sessions aimed to help migrants and parents to understand the structure of Hornsby Shire Council, the services that Council provides and also promoted information on local services.


Settlement Grants Programme


The Settlement Grants Programme (SGP) is funded by Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and is designed to assist newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants to settle in Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Local Government Areas.


The Programme provides one-on-one casework as well as educational and social activities designed to enhance cultural understanding and promote interaction with the broader Australian community.


Over 170 newly arrived migrants received one-on-one support from the service in 2010/11. The service has also organised a number of different workshops throughout the year in partnership with Centrelink, Hornsby Ku-Ring- Gai Local Area Command and Relationships Australia and also organised numerous cultural celebrations with local Chinese, Iranian, India and Nepali communities.