Illawarra Shoalhaven Social Investments (ISSI) stakeholders have met in Wollongong to sign a symbolic code of conduct.
The ground-breaking effort to promote equity in the region has been run from Our Place Bellambi for two years to try and change the way disadvantage and inequity is addressed. ISSI is a multi-sector body formed to break down barriers to address disadvantage by making community aspirations and needs a core priority. The initiative is coordinated and hosted by the Australian Social Investment Trust. ASIT executive chair Natasha Scully said the sector-neutral organisation was committed to bridging gaps and bringing together people from across the community to solve complex social issues. “We are committed to long-term, intergenerational positive change in these communities and the empowerment of people within them to reach their potential”.
Government, non-government and community based organisations involved include Department of Family and Community Services Illawarra Shoalhaven District, Department of Education, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Police, Wollongong City Council, University of Wollongong, Aboriginal Affairs NSW and Illawarra Forum.
Within the next two years ISSI will actively work with three new communities in the region.
Illawarra Forum chief executive Nicky Sloan said the community services industry in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven had a long history of working collaboratively to find outcomes to complex issues and the Illawarra Forum was pleased to be working with key government and community representatives as part of a new collective approach.
Wollongong Local Area Command commander Joseph Cassar described the initiative as an excellent opportunity to collectively work together to provide a safer and self-sufficient environment for 'at risk' communities.
“I see our local Police, as playing a pivotal role in providing advice and support to these communities on crime prevention and safety issues, whether it be on a personal basis or from a great community perspective,” he said.