Colourful event celebrates Hamilton South

On Wednesday, the grey skies cleared to make way for a truly colourful celebration in Hamilton South as hundreds of residents and service providers gathered for the 42nd anniversary of its community hall.

As he addressed those assembled, Hamilton South resident and Community Solutions Working Party member Brad Larkin said, "The community here feels like a family... for every troublemaker, there are ten people who make it a better place."

His sentiment resonated with those in attendance and was echoed by other residents as they too took to the stage to express their gratitude for the community, they call home.

The celebrations also included a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, an address by City of Newcastle Councillor, Carol Duncan and the launch of the 'Voices of Hamilton South - Stories of Resilience and Strength' booklet and exhibition.

The Voices of Hamilton South booklet was partly funded by a Newcastle City Council Boost Your Place Grant. The stories feature narratives about the importance of connection and community ties, of resilience through adversity, and importantly, of 'giving-back'.

Through the publication and launch of this literary work and the sharing of these stories, it is hoped that there will be a greater understanding of the Hamilton South community and that it will generate shifts in perception for those in the broader Newcastle region who may view residents in social housing estates being different.

The Hamilton South Community Hall is leased from NSW Land and Housing Corporation by CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning. CatholicCare forms part of the Hamilton South Community Solutions Working Party. The working party membership comprises local residents and a range of local and State Government Agencies (including City of Newcastle Strategic Planners and Library Services), non- Government Service Providers, representatives of religious bodies, animal welfare and volunteers. The party's monthly meetings are facilitated by Mission Australia.

To read a copy of the Voices of Hamilton South booklet, visit the Community Hall on the corner of Fowler and Ogden Street. 

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Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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