CEAD Centre opening

14 November 2016

TAFE NSW and UrbanGrowth NSW recently celebrated the opening of the Community Education and Arts Development Centre (CEAD), a temporary pop-up located at the Yaama Dhiyaan building at 255 Wilson Street, North Eveleigh.

The event on Tuesday, November 8, was well attended by the local community, along with representatives of the organisations that had collaborated to help realise the opportunity to create a vital community space in Eveleigh.

This Sydney TAFE NSW initiative is providing community based education, Aboriginal Programs, community engagement and events to activate this venue. TAFE NSW is working in partnership with Carriageworks, Settlement Services International, Weave Family and Community Services, and The Bower Reuse and Repair centre to provide a suite of pathway programs in areas of construction, signwriting, hospitality, events, digital media and creative entrepreneurship and arts administration. UrbanGrowth NSW has supported the initiative through sub-licensing the building and bringing community partners together to activate the building.

Carriageworks Director and CEAD Centre strategic partner Lisa Havilah noted that in an area undergoing urban transformation, ongoing collaboration is essential to ensuring great outcomes and celebrating the communities that make it so vibrant.

“This is a very fast-changing community, and collaboration is really key to everything. The better we work together strategically, the better and bigger outcomes we can achieve together.”

“Particularly for Carriageworks, it’s a focus on providing training, education, and employment pathway opportunities for young Aboriginal people, and young people living in the local area into the arts and cultural industries,” said Lisa.

The event recognised the area’s indigenous history and its diverse local community. It featured a number of indigenous dances celebrating the Aboriginal history of the area, and inviting the community to share in these stories and customs.

“The important part of tonight’s opening event is letting the community know that the centre is here to help support everybody,” said Danny Allende, Director of Eora College.

Danny has deep ties to the area, having grown up in Redfern before moving to La Perouse to raise his family, and is now back again working with the community.

“It’s like I’ve come back home. I always say I’ve got a vested interest in the area—it wasn’t that long ago I was running around on the train tracks.”

The CEAD Centre is set to run a number of indigenous workshops programs for young people around Redfern-Waterloo with an eye to creating pathways into the workforce.

Sydney TAFE NSW is collaborating with a range of community partners to provide skills and training, and create pathways to enterprise and employment for diverse communities. Since opening its doors, the CEAD Centre has already welcomed more than 130 students in ten courses. Sydney TAFE NSW has set up a creative trades workshop downstairs hosting a construction training course in partnership with Randwick Building and Construction Faculty, Yulang Aboriginal Unit, another Introduction to Trades program with Petersham Outreach and Signwriting with Ultimo College. Upstairs hosts hospitality, events and digital media courses, arts base programs and community events and projects.

The evening was catered by TAFE Certificate II students from Commercial Cookery, and Settlement Service International participants. This program has students develop their hospitality skills in a commercial kitchen while providing affordable nutritious meals in the local community through their Heat and Eat program and The Staples Bag.

Another focus of the centre has been on creating a community space for creative opportunities.

“I think the priority for this area is that we retain its diverse communities and that there are opportunities to engage in arts and culture—to really be an innovative, creative place in the heart of the city,” said Lisa.

This was a sentiment echoed by Danny. “For Aboriginal people, creative arts and music are an important part of our culture, it’s in our DNA. What better way to share and celebrate it?” While there are some specific goals, the unifying vision of the centre is that of community—something all those invested in the Eveleigh area are committed to.

“When I grew up in Redfern it didn’t matter what nationality you were, everyone would come together. None of us had much money, but we all found a way to work together, live together, and help each other out,” said Danny.

“What I’d like to see is that this becomes a community centre where everyone has the opportunity to participate and where we can provide educational pathways to help our local community come together to achieve their goals.”

For more information visit the CEAD Centre web site. 

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