Funding to boost community safety across Western Sydney

Monday, 09 December 2019

Over $2.4 million in funding has been awarded to schools and cultural and community organisations across Western Sydney under round four of the Morrison Government’s Safer Communities Grants program.

Ten organisations located across Western Sydney will receive funding to help protect children at risk of attack, harassment or violence stemming from racial or religious intolerance.

Funding will variously support the installation of CCTV cameras, the retention of a security guard, and the establishment of a new community safety campaigns, including Safe With Me – Western Sydney and Cultures Collide.

The following organisations across Western Sydney will be funded under round four of the Safer Community Fund:

  • Parramatta & District Synagogue will receive $367,990
  • Maronite College of the Holy Family will receive $109,036
  • Western Sydney Community Forum will receive $185,480
  • Al-Faisal College Liverpool will receive $450,000
  • Al-Faisal College Campbelltown will receive $450,000
  • The Australian Bosnia-Herzegovina Cultural Association will receive $333,592
  • Blacktown Youth Services Australia will receive $450,000
  • Sant Nirankari Mandal Australia will receive $52,000
  • Western Grammar School will receive $273,264
  • Rosie’s Place will receive $193,461

Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said keeping Australians safe was a top priority for the Morrison Government.

“Western Sydney is a culturally rich and diverse area and the Morrison Government wants to ensure that young people feel safe in and outside of school, regardless of their cultural, religious or ethnic background.

“I am glad to see local organisations across Western Sydney receive funding to upgrade their facilities which will help create a safe environment,” Senator Payne said.

Parramatta & District Synagogue Chairman, Mr Michael Morris, said it was important that the local community could safely observe their faith without fear of harassment or violence.

“We will be able to implement a comprehensive security program for the security and protection of our community, which will enable our members and friends to observe and participate in their religion, attend services and social functions at the Synagogue without fear and concern for their safety,” Mr Morris said.

Maronite College of the Holy Family Principal, Sr Irene Boughosn, said the funding ensured the school could continue to keep students and staff safe.

“I would like to express our sincere gratitude for this funding and the continued support we receive from both State and Commonwealth Government initiatives.

Our College community will be extremely grateful to hear of our successful application for the Safer Communities Grant,” Sr Boughosn said.

The Al-Faisal College’s Executive Principal, Mrs Ghazwa Adra Khan, said the funding would ensure the security of the school community and safety of their students.

“We have worked hard to provide our students with the best and latest technology, interesting teaching and learning programs and pastoral care,” Mrs Khan said.

“The Safer Communities Funding with the proposed essential security upgrade measures aims to improve the safety of our school community (students, staff and parents) and contribute to a more secure learning space and environment. We wish to thank the Federal Government and all the Departments involved in Safer Community Grants funding program for considering our College as one of the recipients of this much needed funding.”

The Australian-Bosnian and Herzegovinian Cultural Association’s Dr Hasan Alijagic said their project would keep their community safe and allow them to continue their cultural activities.

“Safer Communities Program with proposed project on upgrading security measures, around and within the building complex, will make our community safer and more focused on actual activities, whether they are religious congregation, ethnic weekend school or general community activities,” Dr Alijagic said.

Blacktown Youth Services Association Service Provision Manager, Ms Natalie Chiappazzo, said the funding would provide an opportunity marginalised young people to lead and contribute to designing solutions to the social problems they experience.

“It is so important to provide meaningful opportunities for young people to be involved in building stronger and safer communities. Despite being such a diverse community, young people are still subjected to racial discrimination and harassment in Blacktown.

“This project will provide a platform for young people to address this issue by designing and developing their own solutions,” Ms Chiappazzo said.

An attendee at Blacktown Youth Services Association, Mary, welcomed the support towards the project which would allow young people to make proactive decisions about their local community.

“I am so excited to be part of the Cultures Collide project. This is the first time us young people have been given a chance to lead and make change in our community on our own terms,” Mary said.

“Change is coming and it is starting here in Blacktown!”

Western Grammar School Deputy Principal, Dr Zachariah Matthews, said the grant would ensure student safety against harassment and violence.

“We are extremely pleased that our application for the Safer Communities Grant was approved by the federal government.

“Considering the recent spate of incidents of hate-motivated harassment and violence against people of faith, the funding will go towards significantly improving the security offered to students at school,” Dr Matthews said.

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