Climate Change Forum: What will it mean for us?

Community STaR, the Service for Training and Research, held a Climate Change Forum in Miller Community Centre on 5 September. We were fortunate to have three outstanding speakers from the Climate Council, the Climate and Health Alliance and 350.

Please watch the videos below and look at the links.

Professor Lesley Hughes from the Climate Council

Professor Peter Sainsbury from the Climate and Health Alliance

Gillian Reffell from 350

Alcohol Forum “Alcohol in Our Community” October 14

Alcohol Forum Community StaR & Liverpool Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) Miller PCYC October 14

PCYC miller

Community STaR recently partnered with the Liverpool Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) to hold a well-attended public forum at the PCYC on October 14 which was based around reducing alcohol related harm. Titled Alcohol in Our Community, it aimed to address community  concerns about alcohol-related harm, discuss evidence-based strategies to reduce harm, provide a forum for ideas, information and networking, and strengthen the valuable work of CDAT in the Liverpool and 2168 community. Participants included local service workers and community members.  Facilitated by Mr Norman Booker, the forum opened with an acknowledgement of country by Uncle Steve Williams. In their introductory talks, Mr Bernardino Siry, Multicultural Liaison Officer from the NSW Police Force Green Valley Local Area Command spoke about the work of the CDAT and Dr Vanessa Rose, Deputy Director of CHETRE (Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation) spoke about Community STaR. A team of excellent speakers was headed by Emeritus Professor Ian Webster, an internationally acclaimed expert in the field. Speakers also included Dr John Crozier from Liverpool Hospital and local police, youth, family and health workers who together led a panel discussion about the issues. Local young people made creative contributions with two short films.  The hard-hitting “What Happened” showed the consequences of a drunken party and “Still Thirsty” was a hilarious satire on alcohol advertising. The afternoon concluded with a ‘café conferencing’ style discussion where all participants had an opportunity to discuss ‘what works’ in reducing alcohol-related harm.

Ian Webster Speaking

The forum was rated highly by participants who valued the evidence presented about effective public health strategies such as regulating access, availability and promotion of alcohol, strengthening licensing and price controls and promoting a safer drinking culture. The importance of working together as a community to solve problems of alcohol-related harm and the need for social inclusion were stressed by a number of participants and speakers.  Participants also said they valued the opportunity to network, workshop ideas and opinions and gain access to new information and a deeper understanding of the local context. A number of participants expressed interest in continuing discussions on ‘what works’ and would have liked more time for this. The Liverpool CDAT continues to work on these issues and invites interested people to join. See below for Liverpool CDAT contact details.


Joseph Gormley, the Project Officer for Liverpool CDAT is the contact person for further information. Joseph is contactable by phone on (02) 9378-1300 and email:

Thankyou to Sam Girgenti from LYAAC for these pictures from the day.

South West Sydney Men’s Health Forum 7th June 2013

The Social Determinants of Health- What Are They?

“The poor health of the poor, the social gradient in health within countries, and the marked health inequities between countries are caused by the unequal distribution of power, income, goods, and services, globally and nationally, the consequent unfairness in the immediate, visible circumstances of people’ s lives – their access to health care, schools, and education, their conditions of work and leisure, their homes, communities, towns, or cities – and their chances of leading a flourishing life. This unequal distribution of health-damaging experiences is not in any sense a ‘natural’ phenomenon but is the result of a toxic combination of poor social policies and programmes, unfair economic arrangements, and bad politics. Together, the structural determinants and conditions of daily life constitute the social determinants of health and are responsible for a major part of health inequities between and within countries”.

World Health Organisation (WHO): Commission on Social Determinants of Health FINAL REPORT 2008.

Men’s Health Forum at Miller PCYC- 7th of June 2013

The inaugural Men’s Health Forum held at the PCYC in Miller on June 7 explored the effects of the social determinants of health on various groups of men. The social determinants are the social and economic conditions that differentially effect health. These conditions may affect, but are different from, individual factors that affect health. (See WHO extract above). The forum, organised by Community STaR in partnership with an advisory group of staff from local and other services and agencies, was coordinated by Harrison Ng Chok from CHETRE. The forum was a result of concern about the health consequences of socio-economic issues affecting our communities. Men’s health issues were focused upon in this forum and participation in the discussion was encouraged by a World Café technique where participants circulated around café-style tables set up as topic discussion areas. Group discussions were framed by the social determinants of health and their effects on the following groups – Aboriginal men, CALD men, unemployed men, young men and older men. Issues discussed included the effects of poverty, discrimination and stigma, trauma, violence, historical injustice and conflict, powerlessness, racism, social dislocation, identity issues, lack of employment options. Emphasis was placed on increasing access to educational, training, retraining, language and employment opportunities, job creation, skill recognition, public transport, housing, health programs and services and the increased funding for community resources in areas of need. An ongoing men’s health network was established to continue the process initiated through the forum.

Services represented in the advisory group were: Green Valley Local Area Command, Liverpool Men’s Shed, Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre, Liverpool Sexual Health Service, Liverpool Youth Accommodation and Assistance Company, UWS Men’s Health Information and Resource centre, Mission Australia, SWSLHD Multicultural Health Service, South West Sydney Youth Peer Education (SWYPE), Strong Fathers – Strong Families Project, The Hub Community Health Centre.

Andrew Reid from The Hub Community Health Centre is the contact person for information about the Men’s Health Network.  Andrew is contactable by phone on 9608 8920 or email:

john macdonald

John Falzon’s “Language of the unheard”

john falzon talk flyer

The voices of the unheard remain unheard. But it is precisely in this contradiction that hope lies, joined inexorably, with the hopes of the oppressed across the globe. People are made and pulled apart by social and economic structures that de-humanise, compartmentalise, destroy, humiliate, blame; people are made to feel that lives are worth little, that their position at the bottom of the heap completely excludes and effectively disempowers them. Good policy is organically connected to self-empowerment and a redis­tribution of resources as an essential element of genuine empowerment.


CommunitySTaR hosting the South West Sydney Men’s Health Forum: the social determinants of Men’s Health

To coincide with Men’s Health Week, Community STaR (Service for Training and Research) will be hosting the ‘South West Sydney Men’s Health Forum: The social determinants of men’s health’. This forum arose from a need to look at how social and community factors, such as unemployment and social isolation, affect men’s health in this region more broadly. Our keynote speaker is Professor John Macdonald, who is the Foundation Chair in Primary Health Care and Director of the Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre (MHIRC) at the University of Western Sydney and is a patron for the Australian Men’s Shed Association. He will speak at the forum on a social determinants approach to improving men’s health and will be introduced by the honourable Member for Fowler Chris Hayes MP.

The forum is held at the Liverpool PCYC, Cartwright Ave Miller on Friday June the 7th at 10:30am – 2:30pm and lunch is provided. Local and regional service providers that deal with young and older men are expected to attend and efforts will be made to develop a formal South West Sydney Men’s Health network for Men’s Health service providers working in the region.

If you wish to attend please RSVP and contact Harrison Ng Chok on telephone (02) 8738 9326 or email

“If we are serious about engaging men and boys in programs and campaigns to improve their health, we need to look at how they each live their lives as individuals, because the current one size fits all messages aren’t good enough.” -Professor Macdonald

Community STaR 2012 survey of parents in the 2168 postcode area

The 2168 postcode area is home to some of the most disadvantaged suburbs in the south west Sydney region. The area has been a main focal point for intersectoral actions since the Miller crisis that occurred in the late 1990’s. The Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) has since continued to be at the forefront of evaluating and documenting the Community 2168 project and was recently granted the approval to establish a community service for training and research in Miller (Community STaR).


What did we do?

In May 2012, a pilot study was developed to support the long-term vision for Community STaR. Parents who reside in the postcode area with children less than 12 years of age were surveyed to identify their “hopes and dreams” for their young children. The survey consisted of broad open-ended questions allowing for parents to speak on their own volition of their child’s involvement in non-school activities, living in the area, their child’s education, local employment, hopes and dreams and actions that will achieve and support these opportunities for their children.


Continue reading “Community STaR 2012 survey of parents in the 2168 postcode area”

Launch of Walk the Talk: surviving unemployment, staying healthy and getting a job

Walk the Talk: surviving unemployment, staying healthy and getting a job will be launched on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 between 9.30am and 11.30am by the Honourable Kate Ellis MP, Federal Minister for Employment Participation, at Cabramatta Community Centre, corner Railway Parade and McBurney Road, Cabramatta, NSW.

Walk the Talk is a group cognitive behavioural therapy program to reduce the negative psychological impact of unemployment, maintain good mental health and optimise the chances of employment. The program is designed for disadvantaged job-seekers with multiple barriers to work (including the very long term unemployed and those with a psychiatric disability) and has demonstrated improvements in mental health, self-efficacy, optimism, attitudes to work and employment outcomes. The program has been trialled by psychologists in the employment sector, mental health services and general practices.

The program was developed by the Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) and will be licensed by the University of New South Wales. A brochure outlining the details of the Walk the Talk program is available here.

Please contact Dr Vanessa Rose on or (02) 9612 0779 if you would like any further information.

Real World Stories: Reflections on working in locationally disadvantaged communities

Today we launched our book Real World Stories: Reflections on working in locationally disadvantaged communities at Liverpool LIbrary. This book describes projects undertaken as a part of the Centre for Health Equity Training Research & Evaluation’s (CHETRE) Working in Locationally Disadvantaged Communities Course. A PDF version of the book is available here.

We are currently recruiting for the 2012 course through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process. The program trains and supports teams to plan, implement and evaluate a project that aims to improve the wellbeing of people living in a locationally disadvantaged community.

The ‘Learning by Doing’ program consists of 6 training days spread across 2012, mentoring, funding support, site visits and 12-month help desk support from the CHETRE project team.

Four teams will be selected to participate in the 2012 program. Team members may be employees of SWSLHD, SLHD, employees of Human Service Providers including local government, as well as non-government and community based organisations working in the area.

For more information about the course please contact Joan Silk by phone on 9612 0779 or email