Saturday, 24 November 2018

BOOK EXCHANGE LIBRARY

Recently the Colyton Book Exchange has seen a number of residents drop off their pre-loved books while picking up new books to read. You will find a Book Exchange at all of our centres, with an amazing range of books to please everyone.  If you’re at a centre or in the area drop by, have a chat to our workers, grab a book and get lost in a story.








Thursday, 15 November 2018

WERRINGTON FESTIVAL


Is was a little bit windy this year at the Werrington Festival, but that didn’t stop the fun. The families who attended got to chat with local RFS firefighters, were entertained with stage performances full of talented Werrington locals, and had a visit from Rooby Roo the REaDING Kangaroo. They also browsed around the 40 plus small business and local community information stalls. 



Families and young people were also able to enjoy the regular FREE festival activities like rock climbing, petting zoo with pony rides, face painting, spray tattoos, motorised go carts and jumping castles. This year, a popular new addition to the festival activities was the mechanical bull, with a few parents and RFS firefighters were spied enjoying the fun. Our youth team kept hunger at bay supplying the residents with a delicious BBQ while raising funds for their annual youth camp. It was an amazing day with plenty of positive feedback from members of the community.



Monday, 12 November 2018

CHILDREN SERVICES


This term we have been very busy engaging in educational and inclusive community events. Preschool and OOSH celebrated superhero day for Bear Cottage which was a huge hit, with most children participating in dressing up and making a donation,followed by an exciting science week at Preschool involving experimenting, hypothesising, and reacting experiences that kept children engaged and asking for more. Preschool’s combined Fathers Day afternoon tea and Jersey Day with a big hit with an AMAZING turn out from our families.  The children from OOSH have shared an interest in animals, in particular birds, and have been researching types and environments of a variety of breeds.  Thank you to everyone who came to share in the experiences with their children.








Tuesday, 6 November 2018

HAMPER DAYS


We held our first FREE Hamper Day at Autumnleaf Neighbourhood Centre during August. We had a great response from both residents and service providers. It was a pleasure to see many new faces access our centre and assist our local residents. Be on the lookout for future Hamper Days in Term 4.



Colyton Neighbourhood Centre held their Hamper Day in partnership with Uniting during September to celebrate the start of Spring.  With the skies blue and sunny local residents came along and enjoyed a free healthy lunch, took the opportunity to meet other residents and to have a chat.  Services from the Penrith Local Area provide information stalls and people were able to take home a free food
hamper. Community Junction Inc. and Uniting would like to thank Second Bite for donating the food that went into the hampers, and to all the services that were able to attend the day.


Thursday, 1 November 2018

YOUTH SPACE AT NORTH ST MARYS



Term 3 has focused on creating a space for young people at North St Marys, and we wanted to add some colour and meaning to the space. The winter holidays allowed for an installation of a flat screen TV, but the young people added a personal touch to the space by creating some string art designs to hang on the wall. They looked at some designs, had discussions about what the youth space meant to them and then drew up their design on a sheet of paper.




The project involved cutting up and sanding back the wood, tracing their designs onto the wood, mapping out where the nails would be put, hammering the nails in, and then winding the string around the nails. It took a few weeks, but the final product will be on the wall and for all to see before our end of term celebrations.


Wednesday, 24 October 2018

ROOBY ROO VISITS ST MARYS LIBRARY FOR NAIDOC WEEK.


Rooby Roo hopped in to join her friends at St Marys Library Storytime for NAIDOC Week last term.  Maureen, our Indigenous Teams Community Connections Worker also came along and told her 'Emu Egg' story. After some singing and rhyming, Rooby and her friends joined in with the actions of the storybook 'My Country'.



 'My Country' is an Aboriginal picture book depicting the beauty of Australian landscapes and the importance of nationality and belonging. Rooby proudly wore her Koori vest and was able to stay back and have photos and hugs with her friends.


Monday, 22 October 2018

Being a student at Community Junction Inc.


My name is Naomi, and I am a student worker for Community Junction. I have been working with the Youth Team and found this a really rewarding experience. I have been working at Erskine Park, St Clair and North St Mary’s Youth Spaces. I have learnt a lot from the other youth workers and the young people, around my self-development as a student worker and I have found it to be a really fun experience. 




The whole team have been helpful and very welcoming, from the minute I started. I
absolutely love working with Community Junction and I find that their values and practices are admirable and very much a pleasure to work within. I cannot thank the Community Junction team enough, for their support and the wonderful environment they provide.


Friday, 19 October 2018

CRAFT N CHAT GROUP


Christmas in July was celebrated at North St Marys when the Craft n Chat group met and enjoyed a delicious lunch together. The group provided the lunch and decorated the table in a Christmas theme.  The group meet weekly and enjoy sharing skills of patchwork, knitting and catching up over a coffee.  






Monday, 15 October 2018

VILLAGE CAFÉ


Marj and Nia are regular participants of the Village Café that meet at Wattle Park North St Marys. The Village Café is designed to empower people over the age of 50 in North St Marys to improve their health and wellbeing.  The local residents of North St Marys enjoy coming to this free service as they can enjoy a free cuppa and take advantage of the health Information and activities that are on offer.  


Nia crocheted this Village Café sign using her amazing crochet skills. This will be displayed at the Village Café to let other residents know that they are meeting and all residents are welcome .


Friday, 12 October 2018

The Sista Speak Program


The Sista Speak Program has commenced at Shalvey Public School and we are currently working with year 5 and 6 Aboriginal girls.



We were lucky enough to have a visit from Alison a mobile hairdresser to talk to the girls about hair care, making homemade hair products and giving the girls some tips on braiding. We are all very proud of the girls and their creation of some fantastic braid styles on each other hair.  The girls got to take home a comb and a spray bottle with leave in conditioner they made for their hair. Sista Speak program is run in the school, the girls have visits from guest speakers, discuss issues impacting their lives and learn about culture and have a lot of fun.  

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Girls Space - Self Defense Class

Our Term 3 self-defence program ran from Erskine Park Youth Space on a Friday afternoon .😊 Thank you so much to our awesome facilitator Ann Stirton from Akyu Martial Arts facilitating yet another AWESOME self-defense program for young women.




The girls were also graded on our final afternoon by Ann, and received a grading belt and certificate as well. Safe to say all the young women really enjoyed the program, made new friends and finished the term learning something new and feeling more confident within themselves. 

We will be continuing to work with Ann running another FREE “self-defense/ boot camp program come Term 4. 

Monday, 8 October 2018

REOPENING OF WERRINGTON YOUTH SPACE


While Werrington Youth Space was closed during Term 2, Pop-Up spaces within Werrington and Cambridge Park were developed for our Youth Workers to continue engagement with young people, while behind the scenes Werrington Youth Space went through an uplift to create a new look when it reopened. 

Werrington Youth Space reopened with a bang during the winter holidays for young people to enjoy new lounges, new stools, new colours and artworks, new beanbags and a new PS4. Young people have continued to enjoy the new look and new equipment during Term 3. Young people we met during the Pop-Up Spaces started appearing at Werrington Youth Space and started bringing friends.






The reopening of the Youth Space has been very beneficial for the young people within the Werrington and Cambridge Park Community, where young people can come in and relax on the couches, enjoy the sound of music playing throughout the centre, challenge each other on the new PS4, and enjoy various activities with the new equipment as well as meeting new people while hanging out at the space.


Monday, 7 May 2018

BREKKIE CLUB ERSKINE PARK


During Term 1 we kicked off our Brekkie Club program out of Erskine Park Community Centre.  The program provides young people with healthy breakfast options with support from our local   IGA at Ashcrofts and Penrith City Council.  



We have been providing on average, 65 young people with breakfast every Thursday morning during school term.


Thursday, 3 May 2018

LINKS TO LEARNING

The Boys Shed program has kicked off well this term and is challenging some young men from local high schools in St Clair, Colyton, Erskine Park and Chifley College Dunheved Campus. 

The program provides opportunities to learn through activities and meaningful discussion, and some topics like teamwork, trust, relationships, respect, leadership, etc. are covered. A group "peace" treaty is developed and they work and evaluate themselves on a model called "The Circle of Courage". This model has concepts of "Belonging" and being part of community, "Independence" and being responsible for themselves , "Mastery" and learning new skills, and "Generosity" and giving back to others. 

highlight has been an excursion to Treetops Adventure Park and the picture shows some boys being generous and cooking for the rest of the group from St Clair High.





Monday, 30 April 2018

TAFE OUTREACH INTRODUCTION TO BEAUTY COURSE

With the help and guidance of staff from Mt Druitt TAFE this group of ladies experimented with new eye - shadow colours and practiced applying these colours. Each week a new skill was taught, from learning which foundation was best suited to their skin tone  and how to use a hair straightener to create beautiful curls for a night out. Each of the participants gained great advice and tips on how to best care for their skin and enjoyed each of the sessions.







YOUNG AT HEART – BUNNINGS CRAFT WORKSHOP

The Young at Heart Coffee, Craft and Chat group decorated pots to be used as table decorations at Penrith’s International Woman’s Day event, which was held on 7th March 2018. Bunnings North Penrith  generously donated 25 pots and all of the craft material needed to decorate the pots, as well as a space to hold a craft workshop. Melody from Bunnings then provided the ladies with all of her expert advice, which helped create some lovely individualised art works.










Tuesday, 24 April 2018

COMMUNITY COLOUR UP PROJECT


Children and families of Oxley Park and Colyton Colts community have been at work building their art skills over ten workshops on a Tuesday afternoon at Ridge Park Hall in preparation for a community mural they will be spraying and painting on the Colyton Colts canteen at CEC Blinkhorn Oval  during April/May. This mural will be celebrated and unveiled to the community on Saturday 23rd June 2018 from 2:00pm –  5:00 pm at CEC Blinkhorn Oval.  All community members are  welcome to attend.



Sunday, 22 April 2018

GIRLS SPACE SELF DEFENCE CLASS.


Girls Space Erskine Park ran free self-defence classes during Term 1 and has been a huge success with the young women. Each week they have been learning new ways to keep themselves safe within the community and situations to be mindful about. 





There was a lot of laughter and new friendships being made while learning important life skills. 

                               








Friday, 20 April 2018

ZEST AWARD AND PENRITH CITY COUNCIL AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS


The Koori Vest for Rooby Roo, the mascot of Paint Penrith ReaD was nominated for an award at the annual Zest Awards in February. The Rooby Roo vest started at Community Junction with the idea from Frances who then worked in conjunction with Maureen. From there, working under the guidance for local Aboriginal Elders and with local Aboriginal children from St Marys North Primary School the project was conducted respectfully from beginning to end. The vest was designed from artwork by the local Aboriginal children. The project helped to strengthen partnerships with all involved and the Elders witnessed their wishes and directions respected, the children felt honoured and heard and the legacy of the vest showing respect to the traditional owners of the land. It was an honour to be present on the night and even more of a thrill to accept the award on behalf of Frances and Community Junction, when we became the recipients of the Zest Award for the 'Outstanding Project Working with Aboriginal Communities in Greater Western Sydney'.

Also a big congratulations to the residents of #NorthStMarysMatters and ‘Team Colyton’ resident groups for winning Penrith City Council Australia Day Award 2018 Penrith Community Group Award.

  




Wednesday, 18 April 2018

CHILDREN SERVICES

What an exciting start to the year! A big welcome back to all of our existing families, and a very warm welcome to all of our new families across Preschool, OOSH and Care Pair services.  

This term the Centre has adopted a rainforest snail which is assisting in building strong relationships and respect for the environment to kick start the year. This has lead preschool into a mini pet project where children have been bringing in photos of their pets to put on display.  Preschool have had some really strong interests and exciting events already, such as borrowing from the school Library, participating in Return and Earn exceeding $5.00 to date by recycling at our local shops, and also growing our own pumpkin at preschool and making pumpkin soup, pumpkin scones and baked pumpkin.

OOSH have had some great active interests such as fitness, cricket and soccer where children are engaging in teamwork, fairness and turn taking, as well as engaging in an active healthy lifestyle. Care Pair has been overwhelmed with supportive groups and families, and have introduced an exciting new program that promotes interest based experiences and forward planning.  

For more information on our Children Services please contact Mel on 9623 0331 or email mel@communityjunction.org.au







“GOT A PEN” DRIVE


With research suggesting that up to 1 in 7 children are living in poverty, Community Junction Inc. have again supported the “Got a Pen” foundation by acting as a drop off point within Western Sydney. This is the second year we have acted as a drop off location and this year we have been overwhelmed with the support given by the community. There has been numerous stationary deliveries from families to the Namatjira Neighbourhood Centre, as well as Hearing NSW and Australian Unity Aboriginal Home Care Service, which has all gone to school children who are in need. Thank you to all those who donated. 



Monday, 19 February 2018

CLASS OF 2017

At North St Marys Children’s Centre we feel very proud of the child and family involvement and support at our 2017 Preschool Graduation! The afternoon was a celebration of all  pre-schoolers who will be attending kindergarten in 2018, and commencing their journey into ‘Big School’. We were blown away by the volume of families and friends who came to support the graduates in receiving their graduation certificates and to watch their end of year performances; Taba Naba, Kangaroo Rock and Bumble bee where there were smiles, dancing and laughter all round! We wish all our graduates the very best of luck for Kindergarten, and hope that you all return to show us how grown up you are in your school uniform!”




Thursday, 15 February 2018

TAFE OUTREACH BARISTA COURSE

During Term 4 staff at North St Marys looked forward to Tuesday mornings when our TAFE Outreach Bartista Class made coffees for staff and our Tuning into Kids group.  Natalie our TAFE teacher came each week with two coffee machines and taught students how to make Café quality coffees.  They were also taught how to clean the machine and correct  procedures in food handling.  This group have formed great friendships and are looking forward to the next TAFE Course Beauty
Therapy that will be run during Term 1 2018.





Monday, 12 February 2018

TREE SCARRING

Adrian Shafer Cultural Identity, Indigenous Historical Researcher carved the platypus and echidna into two trees located in the grounds of the neighbourhood centre at North St Marys. The platypus and echidna are significant as they represent totems of the North St Marys area and join the turtle which was previously carved into a neighbouring tree. Historically Aboriginal people scarred trees and would remove large pieces of the trees bark to be used for traditional purposes. Adrian removed the bark from the trees and has made coolamons from the removed bark.  These coolamons will be used by Adrian for a smoking ceremony to celebrate and present the tree carvings to the local community. The carving of the trees at the neighbourhood centre not only links culture to the centre, but creates a talking point and has made it a site of special significance. The carvings are 
magnificent and have become a focal point of the garden.







Monday, 5 February 2018

CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FOOD AND TOY DRIVE  
During  November and December  we held our annual Christmas Food and  Toy Drive in partnership with St Clair Public School, St Clair Shopping Centre, Erskine Park Children’s Centre and St Vincent  De Paul Society to assist local families in need over Christmas. We received a great response from our local  communities and would like to thank everyone who supported us.





ROCKING AROUND THE PEPPERTREE
Our Rockin' Around the Peppertree Christmas Event at Erskine Park was an overall
success, apart from the hot weather hindering some activities - everyone had a fantastic time. Santa surprised event goers by busting some moves in a dance competition against some of the young people attending, with some walking away with prizes! The night was filled with laughter, good music, fantastic food and Christmas cheer with a real sense of family. Friendships were strengthened and new friendships were made by all who attended.




NORTH ST MARYS Christmas Event
The #NorthStMarysMatters local residents held a free Community Christmas Party that over 150 local residents attended.  The community enjoyed a free BBQ, cooked by the residents, and children enjoyed many free activities.  The jumping castle was a big hit along with the face painting, popcorn and free frozen slushies.  The craft room kept children entertained making Christmas cards .The weather was hot, so at the end of the evening water games were the answer!  Santa arrived,  making children smile as he handed out lolly bags.  Thank you to all those that assisted with the event that made it such a great evening.