Research into Pittwater’s Community Needs

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Research For Avalon Baptist Peace Memorial Church
Micah and Carla Hurst
March 2011
Goals:
Explore what is happening for, and with, youth and young people in Pittwater. Find ways
that we as Avalon Baptist Peace Memorial Church can connect with people in the Mona
Vale to Palm Beach area and help meet their needs. Find what are some of the needs in
our community and how some of them are being met and what ones still need to be met,
specifically, but not limited to, youth and young people.
Assumptions:
I went in with a few assumptions that may be helpful to state right up front. First off, I
assumed that there were a range of unmet needs in the community and that some needs
are being met by churches.
!I
also made the assumption from what I know already that youth and young people are an
area of need. This was born out to be true as we went along, but other areas of need also
came to the forefront. Some of them tied in to the needs of youth and young people and
others did not.
Questions:
-What are the needs in our community? (From Mona Vale to Palm Beach)
-What ages are most in need and what are those age specific needs?
-What services are already in place in the community?
-What are Churches and Christian organizations currently doing?
-What is government doing?
-What are community groups doing?
-What are the gaps or needs that are not being meet?
-What are the things people would like see happening in the community?
Demographics (see Appendix A)
The most recent accurate community profiles that we found were from 2006. There will be
updated information from the 2011 census. There are some data that is more recent,
however it cannot be confirmed until after this next census. We were able to see some
trends between the 2006 census and ones from 2001, 1996 and 1991.
In our community, the largest population age group is 35 to 49 years, with the 50-59 years
age group the next largest.
We noticed the trend for a large loss of the 25 to 34 age group. One explanation for this is
the high cost of living on the Northern Beaches. Once young people are on their own, they
find they cannot afford to live here. We noticed that the trend of departure is starting
around age 18, and this may have to do with the lack of higher education options or
enough work in the Pittwater area.
The 18-35 age group is moving more towards Manly and it seems that they don’t come
back until they are in their mid 30s. Though, some more recent research by the Pittwater
Uniting Church says that even young families, the 30-45 age group, are moving out of the
area quicker than moving in due to high living costs of the area.
Another trend is the large increase for the ages of 60 to 69. It seems that while younger
people are moving out, the older population is increasing as they retire.
There are a significant amount of children ages 0 to 17 in the area as well.
Because of the high cost of living, we are seeing the demographic tilt more toward the
affluent, and the poor are leaving the area completely. There is no large immigrant
population according to the council. The largest group where English is not their first
language are German speakers, but they are not recent immigrants to the area.
The Anglicans are still the largest church demographic, but they are by far the fastest
shrinking demographic. Catholics are the second biggest dem. in the area and are the
fastest growing. The Baptist presence is small and is shrinking by a small margin. The
biggest change is larger and larger numbers are claiming to be non-religious. The only
other religion in the area appears to be Buddhism. The numbers are a little old,but there
doesn’t seem to be any Muslim or Jewish presence whatsoever.
Other Research
In researching the questions listed above, we looked into information provided by Pittwater
Council through their Social Plan from 2005-2009 (see Appendix B). Interviews were also
conducted with various local persons ranging from pastors, a priest, council workers, youth
workers,and service providers for youth (see Appendix C). These are listed below:
Stuart Holman – lead pastor of St Mark’s Anglican Church, Avalon
Melinda Hewitt- Pittwater Council Community Development Worker
Sally Longley- part of pastoral team of St Mark’s Anglican Church in Palm Beach
Nigel Rogers -lead Pastor of Pittwater Uniting, Mona Vale
Point Zero Youth Services
Father George- Catholic Priest for the Mona Vale, Avalon/Pittwater Diocese
Alisha- works with Youth Reach based in Brookvale
Erich Sereduik- works with PASWAC in Barrenjoey High, youth worker for St. Mark’s
Rob Stokes- MP for Pittwater
Summary from research
Churches do a lot for those on the in and that are “coming to Church” but not so much for
those that are in the community and “not coming to Church”. If people come to us we do
ok but we don’t do well with going to them where they are. There are a lot of needs across
the spectrum but a few areas came up again and again as the key needs for the area.
– There is not a lot happening in Mona Vale to Palm beach with youth. And that has been
identified as one of the major areas of need. It would be good to partner with existing
groups that are already doing things, if they are interested. The ones that have things
happening outside of individual churches are the Thursday night skate park group in
Avalon, midnight basketball and Point Zero. These are groups that have good training and
resources and need volunteers. These are the most exciting and realistic for us to engage
in when it comes to youth.
It would be good to partner with one of these groups or with a group of churches to help
with existing projects or to work at providing free evening and night activities that are a
safe and healthy alternative to the pubs and night clubs.
As far as starting something completely new for youth in the area, if there were a group of
churches that came together to hire a youth community chaplain as there is a need for
something like that in the area.
The idea of a drop-in center had some support but there was more support for having a
“community hub” where youth had space where they could come, but that also could run a
range of other activities and community events.
-The 80+ age group was another group that came up often as not having their needs met.
Groups like LinC are helping, but there is a need for more people to be involved in
connecting some of our elderly to the community and help them with transport and just
general care and life maintenance. Outside of just helping with getting around, the
greatest need in this age group is staying or getting connected to the community. There is
a growing population in the area that is here till they die and unfortunately they are not all
surrounded by love ones or anyone for that matter. From those I talked to, just engaging
with these “forgotten seniors” is the big need.
Here we could link up with existing groups like LinC or just start visiting people on our own.
Possibilities also could be a quilting group or bingo or just a weekly morning tea together.
Transport is a big issue, so helping people get around is key.
-The last big area is in the area of relationship breakdown. Because of the affluence of the
area, this is a hidden issue but is out there and I could not find much help being offered.
Anything from working with the pain of divorce for parents or kids, to making it financially
after a break-up. Relationship break down is a huge area with many ways we could jump
in and help. I did not find any group doing anything that we could partner with but I am
sure there would be something out there or take advantage of the resources of the Church
to come up with something new.
Mary and Mark Hurst are a great resource on conflict and communication. this may be a
place to start by having them teach and train on conflict and communication within a
marriage. Having this type of teaching/training available to the community with a next
step option to some other service, like marriage in crisis counseling, would be very helpful.
A key would be that it is little, to no cost. This would make it harder to run as far as
expenses, but would open it up more to those that need it.
I would love to see some creative brainstorming happen in the church around this area as
to options of how we could help.
-As a side note, there are heaps of community mothers groups/play groups that are from
Avalon but because of council issues around space in the community center, they are
looking for a place in Avalon to meet. Opening up our facilities to some of these groups
could be an easy way to have our resource used with minimal work on our part.
Suggested questions for the church to ask themselves/ Discussion questions
What is it that gets us excited about engaging with our community?
What did we hear that got us fired up or interested?
What skills do we have to give?
What time do we have to give?
What resources do we have to give?
Why are we interested in engaging our community?
What are our existing engagements with our community that we can build on?
What have we done in the past?
What do we want to be known for in Avalon and the greater Pittwater area?
How are we being the light of God, being Jesus incarnate, in our community?
Questions for further thought
If the drop-in model no longer works what does?
There was some suggestion that drop in centers are no longer the way to connect with
youth and give them space. From what I picked up society is maybe in a paradigm shift
with youth and they are more connected through internet and phones and more mobile in
their hang outs. To keep up with them you must also be mobile.
In counter point, I find that youth are more desperate than ever to connect to a real
person. They don’t even know that they need “real” connections because they have been
told that they are “more” connected by artificial means (phone, text, email, skype,
facebook, other internet stuff) and they are so entertained. I think most youth have a
ragging need for real human to human connections and healthy touch and intimacy, but
they do not know it and these needs are then being meet in unhealthy ways.
Regardless of how we do it, there is a massive need to connect the youth of Pittwater to
the community in healthy ways and show them some real love.
Appendix A -Demographics
Tables and Charts from the 2006 Pittwater Council Community Profile
(http://profile.id.com.au/Default.aspx?id=244)

***These charts do not show the increase of 1,816 who claim “No Religion” between 2001
and 2006.

Appendix B
From the Pittwater Social Plan, 2005-2009
http://www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/community/social_plan
“Young people
Young people having fun
Young people need access to a variety of recreational and leisure activities. In addition to family and school,
participation in recreation activities is an important influence in the development and growth of young people.
There is evidence to support a link between young people ‘having nothing to do’ and an increased risk of their
participating in crime, under-age drinking and drug use.7
In discussions between Council and young people over recent years, the main issue raised by young people is
always the availability of leisure and recreation activities. In the 1999 Social Plan the lack of entertainment
options for people aged less than 18 years was identified as the major issue for young people. Again, in a
survey of young people undertaken as part of developing the new Social Plan, their major concern was the lack
of leisure and recreational activities.
In Pittwater there are many providers of leisure and recreation for young people. These include private teachers,
sporting clubs and churches. It is clear though that there is not the range available to meet the needs and
interests of all young people.
The sort of entertainment activities young people want include:
band or dance parties for people aged under 18 held at night; skateboard and BMX bike competitions provided
regularly throughout the year; and meeting or ‘hang out’ places for young people within shopping centres and in
late-night Internet cafes and music cafes.
“The importance to young people of having fun, being among friends and having places to meet
cannot be overemphasised. Young people want and need access to affordable, interesting and
challenging activities.”8
Youth service providers on the northern beaches also identified recreation and leisure issues for young people.
As well as identifying boredom as a problem for young people on the northern beaches, they saw a need for:
free recreational activities; a wider range of recreational activities that are not necessarily linked to the beach
culture; safe places for young people to ‘hang out’ with their peers; and age-appropriate entertainment.
There are significant benefits to providing safe regular entertainment options, particularly for young people under
18 years. These include reducing the risk of: large numbers of young people gate-crashing private parties;
disruption to the community due to young people gathering in public places that are unsupervised
and may involve alcohol consumption; and boredom, which may lead to increased crime and under-age
drinking.
The provision of youth entertainment is usually costly and labour intensive. This is due to needing adequate
supervision and safety measures for young people, as well as transport and up-to-date entertainment.
Youth entertainment – In facilitating or providing youth entertainment, it is important to be flexible because the
interests of young people change over time. Whilst Council still sees a need for entertainment at night, especially
for people under 18 years, there are limited opportunities to provide this at present. Council is still committed to
supporting promoters of these types of events. Council will, however, also focus on facilitating other
entertainment options for young people. This will include developing low cost recreation activities for young
people in community centres and working with young people to stage an annual youth arts/entertainment event.
Skateboarding and biking – Consultation with young people indicated that the traditionally higher risk sports
such as BMX biking and skateboarding are very popular among young men. Due to concerns about potential
injuries and liability issues, the provision of facilities for these types of activities has not been popular.
Council has provided some facilities to meet this need. There are three skate/bike facilities in Pittwater located at
Avalon and Mona Vale. Young people would like to have input into improving the skateboarding facilities and
spectator areas. Council will include a five year works program for skateboard/bike facilities in future
management plans and consult with young people when making modifications to youth recreation facilities.
Council will also run two skateboard competitions a year.
Bikers also indicated that they would like a dirt track at Mona Vale. Council’s Reserves and Recreation Business
Unit is currently investigating the feasibility of providing a dirt bike track at Careel Bay and at Mona Vale.
Places to ‘hang out’ – In addition to youth entertainment, young people said that they wanted places to meet
or ‘hang out’ outside of school. There are a number of informal meeting places already being used by young
people in Pittwater. These include McDonalds at Warriewood, Warriewood Shopping Centre and the café and
games room at Warriewood Cinema. Other young people are ‘hanging out’ in cafes in Avalon and fast food
outlets in Mona Vale. While for young people this is an important way of ‘having fun’, the rest of the community
does not always feel comfortable about groups of young people hanging around in public places such as
shopping centres.
There has been a lot of work done to develop positive solutions to the issue of young people using public
spaces for recreation. A recent initiative is A guide to developing a local youth shopping centre protocol.11 This
project was developed by a team from the University of Western Sydney and was funded by the NSW Attorney
General’s Department. A protocol is an agreement between the management of a shopping centre and people
using the centre about acceptable behaviour standards and responses to unacceptable behaviour.
Warringah Mall and Warriewood Shopping Centre are currently developing a protocol using these guidelines.
Centre management and security staff meet with the three northern beaches councils and the Police on a
monthly basis to discuss the development of the policy.
“The NSW Government’s Youth Policy 2002-2006 states that for young people “the main barriers to
recreation are limited finances, lack of access to transport, insufficient drug and alcohol-free events,
isolation…and concerns about safety at night.” 12
Young people being heard
The NSW Youth Advisory Council is a statutory body made up of 12 young people who advise the Premier on
matters of concern to young people. The Youth Advisory Council found from consultations with young people
across NSW, that in regard to participation:13
¦
“They want to participate more in community and government decisions that impact upon their lives.
¦
They are unsure about how to get involved and would like support to develop the skills and
confidence to speak and act for themselves.
¦
Existing channels for participation don’t always work for young people. As a result, their voices are not
always heard.”
Council’s Sense of Community in Pittwater survey found that 28% of young people who completed the survey
did not feel that they belong to a community in Pittwater. The survey sample however was small and further
research is needed to determine to what extent this is a general issue for young people in the community.
Other consultations with young people have shown that they are interested in having input into projects and
programs that affect them. For example, there was considerable interest from young people in having a say
about the upgrading of skateboard ramps in Pittwater. Other consultations with young people found that a
significant number of those aged 17 years and over would like to have more of a say in the community where
they live.
Children
Strong families and communities
A major theme that emerged from consultations for families and children was that Pittwater was a good place to
live and that it provided them with a good quality of life.Most families receive the support they need from their
families, friends and the broader community. Some groups in the community however do not experience this
sense of wellbeing. Some families in Pittwater are experiencing: a lack of good networks in the community to
link into for support and friendship; isolation because they are different from the ‘norm’ e.g. single parents,
families where dad is the primary carer or a young parent; financial and emotional stress; pressure from
combining work and family life; and trouble accessing information about being a parent and issues for children.
Isolation – Isolation was identified as an issue for families in Planning Workshops held as part of implementing
the Families First Strategy in the Northern Sydney area in 2003. Participants in these workshops described
families in Northern Sydney as “often being quite isolated, due to the profile of parents”.22 For example, the
number of older parents who have workforce networks rather than community-based networks, the high
mobility of families (moving from interstate and overseas), the lack of extended family supports and families with
both parents working.
Participants also suggested that isolation occurs in Northern Sydney when families are different in some way or
feel that they do not belong. A sense of difference may relate to family structure, for example, being a sole
parent or a father who is the primary carer. Health and family issues such as postnatal depression, alcohol/drug
issues, family violence, disability of a child, and mental illness can also act to isolate a family.
Children’s services in Pittwater talked about the loss of ‘old neighbourhood networks’ and the need for more
information and support for new parents.
Pressures on families – Service providers also said that there are increasing pressures being placed on families
with children. This includes the pressure of trying to combine family life and work. The pressure to fulfil
community and family expectations of children is also placing some families under strain. The perception of the
Pittwater area as being advantaged and affluent meant that issues such as mental illness, alcohol problems,
financial difficulties and relationship problems may be hidden. There is often an expectation that parents should
cope alone. Parents then feel guilt and embarrassment if they find family life difficult.
Participants at the general service provider consultation held by Council in November 2002, identified services
for families in crisis, family support, parenting programs and counselling services as a high priority.
The benefits to children and families from having a support network of prevention and early intervention
programs include: “improving the health of mothers and babies, helping children to start school better equipped
to learn, building communities that work to support families, reducing the conditions that lead to child abuse,
crime and drug use”.23
There is a range of services both in Pittwater and on the northern beaches that support families with children.
These include: long day care centres, family day care, preschools, occasional care centres, outside school
hours care, early childhood centres, and playgroups. There are also parenting groups such as the Australian
Breastfeeding Association and the Multiple Birth Association, toy libraries, counselling services through Northern
Sydney Health, family support services and programs for children with special needs.
The Northern Beaches Families First Project will focus on improving the range of early intervention and
prevention services in the area, with a particular emphasis on community-based supports. In addition,
consideration will be given to supporting change in existing local services so they can more effectively meet the
needs of parents and carers. Other outcomes should be improved co-operation between service providers
through better networking and information systems for parents and carers.
Other aspects of the Families First Strategy in the area include support for local GPs to help parents and carers
access a range of additional services, improved co-operation across service providers through joint training and
induction processes, the development of an Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy and the implementation
of universal home visiting by staff at the Early Childhood Centres.
Council will monitor the outcomes of the Families First Project on the northern beaches and look for ways of
supporting any initiatives that arise from it.”
Summary:
There is a lack of community based connections and people that are a bit different feel isolated. Also
affluence hides a lot of issues. Working to connect people in the community to other people in the
community, and a stronger sense of diversity and acceptance are needed.
Appendix C -Interview Summaries:
Stuart Holman (lead pastor of St Mark’s Anglican Church, Avalon):
A lot of needs are met by the local club, whether that is through the local sports club or
RSL. The “need” for “church” is not there in most people’s minds. When things are
suppose to be going well and we are “living the dream,” what need is the church meeting?
They do not feel they need God and their relationships, exercise/health, community, and
involvement needs are meet in their local clubs, local schools, and social networks. Or so
people think.
Stuart said that the main gap is the late teens, 15-20. They are bored and no one knows
what to do with them. Seniors are also a gap area that need help. His dream would be to
have their Friday night program put on steroids, and have it be a drop in, where young
people can stop and talk and have heaps of activities. He talked about a Baptist church
that started a warehouse for youth somewhere out west that he would love to pick up their
model. One problem is finding credible young leadership. He also mentioned that the 20
something age group is a gap area and they are not in the area and definitely not in
church.
St Mark’s runs a holiday program one week out the holidays for years 1-5. They also run a
kids program in the Avalon community centre called the Ark and they have another
program on Friday evenings called D’Ark for the older kids, which is mainly consists of
youth from the church. They said that the best things they do as a church, is teaching
scripture in the schools, but they don’t have any connection with the parents and aren’t
sure how to connect.
Another initiative started by a couple and joined by a few other couples, all from St Mark’s,
is connecting with the skate park in Avalon. Thursday nights, 5pm-7pm they go to just be a
presence and serve food. They are not trying to be preachy, just trying to get to know the
kids. The couples are all upper middle age to elderly. This has good potential to be a
positive connection with the community.
Melinda Hewitt (: Pittwater Council Community Development Worker, also responsible for
Youth):
Melinda stated that the biggest drugs used around here are alcohol and then marijuana.
There is also very big in-house prescription med trading and selling, such as Ritalin. One
of the major issues is family break down. Point Zero is doing parent training, and she
would like to see more of this happening. Youth are learning drinking from their parents.
Parents are buying it for them. Parents would rather them drink at home, than out
somewhere else. But it is very much a learned culture. Youth are bored and have a lot of
disposable income. Parents give them income but not necessarily attention. She said that
affluence hides a lot of issues, but that it also causes other hidden issues- all of them are
hidden issues.
Often she sees organisations that have the facilities, the hard infrastructure, but not the
soft infrastructure, such as the training, organisational structure, purpose, policies,
leadership and accountability. These scare her because they are not as safe for youth and
often don’t last as long. She likes the idea of multi-purpose spaces and not just youth
facilities. She talked about community hubs where there can be all kinds of things that
happen in them, such as family relationship stuff, cultural events, sporting events, classes
and Yoga, art, martial arts, dance, mediation, mentoring, environmental training, and
counseling. She likes to see partnering and pooling of resourcing.
Some things that have been very successful in the area are midnight basketball and Point
Zero(see notes on interview with Point Zero). With the midnight basketball they were
hoping for 60, expecting less than 30, ended up getting over 90, and they had over 50
volunteers from a whole range of cultural and socio economic backgrounds. It was a real
mix of kids as well, good range of rich and poor and because it was partnered with
YouthReach which deals with a lot of islander folks, there were a lot of islander kids
involved, It was one of the most successful youth programs that she has seen run. They
are running it again, this time for twice as long. Parents drop them off and at the end of the
night they bus the kids back so the parents don’t have to worry about picking them up,
They feed them, go through some training, then they each get to play three games, each
20-30 minute long games. By the end of the evening, the kids were knackered, but they
loved it. Both girls and boys.)
Melinda also talked about the peninsula youth services, of which she and 11 others are on
the executive board for. They liaison government, churches and other organisations with
youth issues on the peninsula. They also put out the area catalogue which lists activites
and events you can be a part of. She also talked about the LINK church “Surf for life”.
There is a “Man Shed” which is a space for men to do things like woodworking projects or
maintenance things.
She said that she would rather churches partner with each other, or better yet, join a youth
organization than start their own little thing. It is safer for the kids and youth that way. Too
often churches start with lots of energy but then burn out after a year or just do not have
the staff or the right infrastructure to keep going.
Sally Longley ( part of the pastoral team at St Mark’s in Palm Beach):
Sally said that the gap was the alternative to the pub culture. Youth are wanting an
alternative, but when anybody has tried it, there have been staffing issues. With the
internet, someone will put up a party for 100, and easily 4 times that can show up. A lot of
youth are getting involved in “midnight roaming” which is where they sneak out of their
rooms between 12 and 1 and hang out with friends, roaming around the streets, beach,
schools, parks, etc. and then sneak back into their rooms between 3 and 5 and their
parents don’t even know they are gone. She also said that some of them are “raging”
doing vandalism and tagging. Most of them are just looking for something to do. The only
gang activity is for a group called the Hoodies, but they really haven’t been active in the
last year or so.
There are things happening for younger kids- playgroups, both church based and
community based. Some of them need space. The Nelson Health Centre in Warriewood
runs some Aboriginal support and the big thing that she was excited about was the skate
park stuff in Avalon.
Some of the things that she was dreaming about were having mentoring for youth, having
a street pastoral team or street chaplain that is out on the street from 10pm to 1amish, or
later, wandering the streets, connecting with kids.
Nigel (Lead Pastor, Pittwater Uniting, Mona Vale):
There are some interesting things happening at their church that Nigel mentioned- they
have ministries for every age group because every demographic has needs. For the
elderly they have a ministry called Jericho care. They have men’s, women’s, youth, and
children’s groups. They have done their own research about the different demographics
and have found that more young families are moving out of the area than are moving in
and this has to do with everything being very expensive and can’t afford it. This contrasts
with the research of Pittwater Council that we looked at, but his data is more recent. He
talked a lot about how they are getting away from running programs and trying to work
hard at centering people on who Jesus was, being followers of Jesus as somebody that is
caring for others. It sounded like they are trying to be more missional minded and were
intentional in looking for a youth missions pastor. They are a big church with a lot of people
and very focussed on their own programs. They made it very clear that they are not
interested in partnering with other churches at this point. They are running a preschool, but
now with an emphasis on Christian education and evangelism, same with their sports
centre.
Point Zero Youth Services:
Started in the eastern suburbs by a Rabbi who works with youth, drug and alcohol issues,
partying, etc. They have vans that go around where the kids are. They have volunteers
and social workers that work out of it. Some of the things that they do are- running parents
and community training, equipping their volunteers. They are not doing evangelism, but
are there purely for the kids, give them info, care for them when they are drunk, give them
a cup of coffee, encourage them towards alternatives. They have a team leader. The vans
are out from Manly through to Palm Beach connecting with where the kids are, instead of
having the kids come to them. It is non denominational, non faith specific. They do a lot of
training and equipping and connect with a lot of groups. The council is very keen on them
and wants them to do more.

Father George (Catholic Priest for the Mona Vale, Avalon/Pittwater Dioscese):
Some interesting things about them: on a typical Sunday they have over 1000 people and
can get over 1500 for special events (Christmas and Easter). They have a lot of pastoral
care pastors. They have ministers for pastoral care and counseling, pastoral care and
communion to the sick, hospitality, youth and music, marriage ministry, catechists , and
one for media and communications. They don’t necessarily do a lot of outreach, but they
do have a lot of good connections to the community. They are doing a lot of good
counseling care, especially with bereavement and divorce. There is a lot of focus on
marriage and pre marriage counseling. They also run AA groups for alcoholics and
narcotics. They have a group of 18-35 year olds that volunteer 4 hours a week in some of
their ministries, and in turn the church will help pay for the youth to attend World Youth Day
in Madrid, Spain this year. They are also running 5 or 6 schools, primary to high school.
With their high school, they have an open gym, it is open to whomever. They have three
different ages for youth group stuff. One of their key events that went really really well, is
something that is called Soul Kitchen. They have professional chefs come in and teach the
kids how to cook and then they have food competitions like MasterChef for years 7-10,
they have their own nice facilities for this.
Father George named three gap areas that the community could use more help withworking
with people in divorce and bereavement, connecting young parents with each
other, and then youth that are not in the church.
Alisha who works with Youth Reach based in Brookvale:
Youth Reach works in schools and with case management. They also have a drop-in
center in Brookvale. They have good facilities. They have a fully done out recording studio
which is free for youth to come and use. She said that the gap is having free recreation
and sport activities, or just free activities in general. They don’t really have kids coming
from Mona Vale and up.
Erich Sereduik (works with PASWAC in Barrenjoey High, also youth worker for St. Mark’s
in Avalon)
Erich runs a lot of internal stuff for St Marks, does a .Chips n’ Jesus’ lunch group at school,
and he does scripture teaching in the school. He is all about getting people into his own
church and telling them the word of God, and he is not really into connecting with kids
unless he can preach at them. Some things that he mentioned that are happening- the
blue light discos, he thought that there was a youth drop in center in DeeWhy and he
talked about YoYos running music events. He said that when they run them, they are often
overwhelmed and the police are called in.
Some issues that he talked about are that there is a lack of decent transport at night.
There is the main bus line, but once you get off that there isn’t anything decent. One issue
he mentioned is that if you aren’t sporty, where do you go? There isn’t anything for you.
One of the key things- we have good spaces, but lack the people resources and the
people they have lack time- everyone is just too busy. I don’t recommend working with
him. He was not interested in collaborating or having other people join them.
Rob Stokes:
Some of the most interesting things that Rob said when I asked about his dreams, he
asked for three that he could have. 1. A uni in Manly to keep the uni age students in the
area. 2. He would have loved to have bought Currawong camp to use for all the churches
to come together with their youth. His comment was “separately they are small and allright,
but if they came together they would really good youth group. This would be a great place
for them to go.” 3. Bigger skate park in Mona Vale, having a kiosk and a small amount of
adult supervision.
We also talked about mainly the things such as LinC, Point Zero and Narrabean Baptist
which does palliative care.

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