Chapel in the Cross is saved Reply

by Paul Clark

Visitors enjoyed the celebrations at the reopening of the Wayside Chapel. Photo: Paul Clark

The Wayside Chapel officially reopened yesterday after an $8.2 million redevelopment. Official guests at the ceremony included Wayside Ambassador Claudia Karvan, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner, and Federal MPs Tanya Plibersek and Malcolm Turnbull.

The redeveloped facility retains all the facilities and services of the original Wayside Chapel, established in Hughes Street in 1964. The services and facilities include a café, low cost clothing shop, community spaces, the chapel and an information centre.  A rooftop garden has been added to provide an additional recreation space.


When football helps rebuild lives Reply

by James Pennington

The Street Soccer Festival gets to the heart of the game. Photo: James Pennington

A floating pontoon in Sydney’s Darling Harbour may seem an odd venue for a football tournament but then, the Street Football Festival is no ordinary competition.

Held over 10 days in April, the Festival saw 300 five-a-side matches with 900 players taking part in youth, corporate and celebrity matches, culminating in the National Street Soccer Championships, where teams of homeless and disadvantaged men and women from every state battled it out in front of large crowds at Cockle Bay.

The Championships, played over two days, were tightly contested with South Australia narrowly beating Victoria in the final match. State teams were organised via the Community Street Soccer Program, which has engaged over 4,000 participants with weekly training and mentoring sessions at 30 centres across Australia since its foundation in 2007.


A new spirituality is taking over the land 1

by Thomas Crooks

The numbers tell the story. More than ever before, Australia is moving away from its Christian roots. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there is a steady decline in those professing commitment to the Anglican faith, for example. There were 3.9 million Anglicans in 1996, 3.8 million in 2001, and 3.7 million in 2006. While this steady trend continues, the number of practising Buddhists continues to grow. In 1996 there were around 200,000 Buddhists in Australia, 350,000 in 2001 and 420,000 in 2006.  The number of people claiming no religion has also grown from just under 3 million in 1996 to 3.7 in 2006.


Social networking site shows the way Reply

by Brendan Gallagher

Sharnay Haines takes part in Show Me The Way, Australia’s first Indigenous social networking site. Photo: The Australian

While the proliferation of social networking sites has made many of them the scourge of teachers and classrooms everywhere, the first Indigenous social networking site may prove a vital tool in the effort to improve Indigenous education.

On May 2, the latest phase of the initiative between Show Me The Way, Australia’s first Indigenous social networking site, and the Exodus Foundation, an organisation that assists marginalised and disadvantaged people, was launched.

Show Me The Way was conceived eight years ago by broadcaster Lola Forester, broadcaster, and multimedia producer Chris Maguire, as a way to improve retention and attendance rates of Indigenous children at school, and raise Indigenous numbers in tertiary education.



Sea change on the horizon 1

by Karen Thorne

The Coral Sea is part of five proposed marine parks in Commonwealth waters around Australia. Photo: Philip Morton

Almost 500,000 people have responded to the Federal Government’s marine park draft for the Coral Sea, and 99.9 per cent of submissions are calling for greater protection than the draft proposes.

Daisy Barham of the Australian Marine Conservation Society says, “The draft plan failed to provide a high level of protection for over 90 per cent of the area’s coral reefs. Under the draft, the Coral Sea would risk being slowly and steadily degraded, leaving huge schools of fish, sharks, sea turtles and seabirds with an uncertain future.”


Thank God for the Salvos Reply

by Oakley Kaddish

Robbin and Paul Moulds offer a helping hand to homeless young people.
Photo: The Salvation Army

If anyone is the personification of the phrase ‘Thank God for the Salvos’ it’s Darren.  Darren spent years believing he was beyond hope and help. Like many of Australia’s 32,000 homeless kids, he had to bear the strong burden of never knowing where his next bed would be.

Darren’s mum left when he was just eight.  He was shunted around foster homes where he suffered months of emotional and physical abuse that sent him into a downward spiral of drug addiction and homelessness.

“I was split up from my brother and placed in homes where I was beaten and abused. I had my first shot of heroin when I was 14 and that took away all of my thoughts and feelings of what I was going through,” he says.


No boundaries on idea Reply

by Greg Volz

Rebekah Campbell took part in the TED speaking conference.

A woman standing on the stage in a stylised 1950s bathing suit and cap told the audience about the joys of water ballet. A radio announcer and self-confessed maths geek tried to convince the crowd that prime numbers are sexy.  The creator of a garage sale trail in Bondi talked about how the idea has exploded across Australia.

These were just some of the contestants in TED talent search, held recently in Sydney.

“Rumour has it that ideas know no boundaries,” Chris Anderson told the audience. Mr Anderson is the world-wide curator of TED, a global series of speaking conferences.

TED, which stands for Technology, Education and Design, began life as a one-off conference in Silicon Valley in 1984. The recent Sydney event was one of many now held annually to foster ‘ideas worth spreading”, as Mr Anderson described it.


A sense of belonging Reply

by Matt Kelly

A family gathering: something to look forward to and something to look back on with fond memories. Photo: Phong Nguyen

“It’s about a sense of belonging, a sense of knowing where you come from,” says Grant Manwaring, a grandfather who comes from a large extended family. He grew up with six brothers and three sisters. He is talking about the importance of family.

“Family gatherings, birthdays and wedding anniversaries are great times to celebrate the family. You look forward to these occasions and you look back on them with fond memories.”

Families across the country celebrated National Families Week from 15 May to 21 May. This year’s theme was Families make all the difference: helping kids to grow and learn. The event, established in 2003, aims to spread awareness about the important role families can play in supporting and nurturing children.


Young entrepreneur relishes life on the edge Reply

by Marlyn Awadalla

Young entrepreneur Nathan Aquilina, 23, is changing the concreting industry through strategic thinking, hard work and self-belief.

Nathan was recently featured on the online journal Shoe String Startups where the success of his company Mason Concrete Group was described by editor Mat Beeche as inspiring.

“The fact that someone so young has already built a business that is only six months old and already generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue is extremely impressive,” Mr Beeche says.


Sign of hope for the homeless Reply

by Marcus Wicken

A positive message of hope to help the homeless. Photo: Hope Month

There are around one in 200 Australians who are homeless and more people sleeping rough in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo than in any other suburb in the country.

In an effort to do something positive about the situation, Kate Sowden came up with a creative annual fundraiser called Hope Month. The initiative harnesses social networks to raise awareness and funds to combat homelessness in Sydney.

The idea is simple, she says. “You invite your friends over for dinner, you pay for the food and they pay for a seat at your table,” she says.