Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Common values and goals

On the occasion of our 200th issue there is much to celebrate. The SSH is the only community media with a newspaper reporting continuously in the inner southern suburbs.

Trevor Davies, our founding editor, had a particular passion for politics, social justice and his church, and a deep concern that, in the last couple of decades of the 20th century, the mainstream media only ran stories about the problems of Redfern and Waterloo and parts of the city with large public housing communities. This spurred him, Dorothy McRae-McMahon, our continuing faith editor, and Ali Blogg, our first photographer, to ask for the backing of South Sydney Uniting Church to be the paper’s publisher.

Our mission statement is “Celebrating the lives of the diverse people of South Sydney, inviting discussion on issues of concern and interest, adding encouragement to possibilities for community” and we are proud of our many volunteer journalists, editors, photographers, illustrators and distributors who work so zealously to uphold it.

Thanks to local representatives for sending words of congratulation and encouragement which remind us of common values and recall us to common goals.

Thank you to Blak Douglas for this stunning Gunyadyu graphic which appeared above our masthead for our 200th issue to celebrate this milestone.

“For 200 issues the SSH has supported local news and debate genuinely sourced from within our wonderful community. It deals with the tough challenges in a way that builds community, fights for social justice and encourages us all to do more. Thanks to the amazing writers, illustrators and creative workers and the editorial team who selflessly put the country’s best community newspaper together and to the Uniting Church which has supported this endeavour for nearly two decades. Trevor Davies’ commitment to our community sings through every page many years after his untimely death, and 200 issues down the track the paper continues in that progressive determination to find new ways to celebrate South Sydney and encourage solidarity amongst its residents.” (Senator Tim Ayres, Darlington)

“I love Sydney. I’ve lived here all my life and I’m passionate about contributing to making our city the world’s best place to live, work and visit. Over recent years, many of the inner-city precincts that make us unique have suffered from economic downturn, the knock-on effects of lockout laws and latterly the pandemic. Some areas, like Oxford Street and Kings Cross, have been the victims of Council neglect. But Sydney and its people have shown their resilience during Covid, tackling the hardship with optimism, energy and a willingness to work together. Now more than ever Council needs to focus on delivering the services and support to help our communities and businesses bounce back.” (Councillor Christine Forster, Potts Point)

“Who would have thought at the start that this spirited, opinionated, deeply local community paper would outlast all those publications that have had to shutter their doors? Local news is rarer and more precious than ever. One of the reasons for its success is that the SSH doesn’t just report the news in our local community, it has shaped it. By championing its characters, by celebrating its diversity and by tackling its issues unflinchingly it has provided a voice to communities that otherwise would not have been heard.” (John Graham MLC, Redfern)

“While the pandemic remains an immediate priority, I hope in the near future we will achieve an inner city social and affordable housing boom and more support to help our most vulnerable people. Ending the war on drugs, ensuring people who are terminally ill and suffering have the option of assisted dying, and giving trans and gender diverse people access to official documents that reflect their true gender remain priorities. I also hope to see small businesses, arts and live music get help so that our region’s social fabric can thrive when the pandemic is over.” (Alex Greenwich, MLA Sydney)

“Like so many others, my first experience of the SSH was back in the early 2000s chatting (and debating!) with Trevor as he delivered the paper around the streets of Darlington. Two hundred issues and almost 20 years on – and this publication continues to be a vital point of connection. Our inner-city neighbourhoods are always changing and it is my hope that as they change we are able to maintain the strong, compassionate and progressive heart of South Sydney. By prioritising investment in Aboriginal housing, public and community and affordable housing – and stopping the privatisation of our invaluable public land – our city can be a place where diversity and equality can thrive.” (Jenny Leong, MLA Newtown)

“For many years now, the paper’s mission to ‘add encouragement to possibilities for community’ has been manifested in a lively paper, which reflects a community that insists both upon our diversity and our capacity to chart our own course. Cities around the world are challenged by inequality and increasing segmentation between those who have much and those who have little. I am proud of the way our community has cultivated a continuing curiosity about the lives of our neighbours, and responded to our obligations to support the people who need our help. We continue to attract new friends and neighbours into our area – many drawn by the powerful sense of neighbourhood we have built here. I know Trevor would be proud to see his community welcome all comers, while quietly demanding that we adhere to the principles of justice, compassion and solidarity that animated his life.” (Senator Jenny McAllister, Redfern)

“‘It’s like Paddington with Parking!’ I heard them gleefully say./ A sunny Sunday with a breathless Pug they sat sipping oatmeal latte./ I didn’t raise an eyebrow, or break stride to stop to stare./ Even when Ivy’s café closed and there appeared the curtain shop (with the $5000 chair)./ My first home in Sydney was on John St, circa 2004./ Often we went without to pay the rent, we all made sure no one on our street felt poor./ As our walls shudder into the night, tunnels digging ever deeper./ The battle for Redfern/Waterloo continues, we’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.” (Councillor Jess Miller, CoS)

“Even before the pandemic, Sydney was struggling with a lack of vitality and over-congestion. Massive development has been going ahead for the past decade or more, with infrastructure and community wellbeing an afterthought. Economic recovery is essential, but it does not guarantee improved quality of life for people living in and working in the city. As part of our economic recovery we need to focus on whether people have access to secure housing, health care and education. We need to ensure that people have social connections, feel safe, are happy, breathe clean air, have access to green space and employment opportunities. The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down and what we do next will determine the future of our city and its people.” (Councillor Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, CoS)

“Congratulations to the SSH on their milestone 200th edition! The SSH consistently delivers on their commitment to provide independent, high-quality journalism with a focus on local issues, politics and social justice. They amplify the voices of our community, telling stories, celebrating success and sharing concerns of people who mainstream publications often overlook. It’s not just a newspaper, it is an essential service for our community. I’d like to thank all the writers, photographers, editors, illustrators, the delivery workers and everyone who makes this paper happen.” (Tanya Plibersek MP, Sydney)

“Congratulations to all at our SSH! You are simply wonderful. As a Labor councillor, I’m so honoured to represent our community, and your efforts to highlight the faces and places that are part of it are so welcome. There has never been a more important time to fight for the things we love – our diversity, our connections to each other and the neighbourhoods, where we live, work and play. In 2021, I’m committed to fighting for more sustainable neighbourhoods, beautiful green spaces, housing that means everyone can continue to live in the inner city, and to always helping those that need it.” (Councillor Linda Scott, CoS)

“Local journalism plays a vital role in enabling us to be active citizens, informing us, giving us context and history, and illuminating the human dimension of policy choices. Congratulations to the SSH on this milestone. Independent local journalism is a tough gig, so I’d like to thank the SSH for persevering in its commitment to covering issues that centre on social justice and community wellbeing. A special thanks to contributors like Geoff Turnbull who dive into the detail of planning proposals like those in Waterloo, which have serious implications for local communities. Great local journalism empowers us to participate in the discussion so that our voices are counted. I look forward to many more years of your insightful coverage and local leadership.” (Councillor Jess Scully, Deputy Lord Mayor)

“Congratulations to the staff at the SSH on their 200th issue! Such a great achievement for the paper that continues to celebrate the people of South Sydney as well as keeping us all informed on the issues affecting the community. I have been involved in City politics and planning over many decades, and what’s so clear to me is that people of Sydney really seek out and support progressive independent politics. They are disinterested in conservative, business-as-usual types, they want people, policies and projects that embrace the vibrant diversity of our city’s communities, that make for a fairer and greener city.” (Councillor Professor Philip Thalis, CoS)

“In 2003, Lyn and I were producing Redfern-Waterloo Issue Updates by email about local issues. Trevor Davies would often use pieces for his shorts column in the SSH. I started writing articles for the SSH under my own name in 2003 at Trevor’s request. The SSH has played an important role in getting stories about local issues and local perspectives that are not deemed to be important enough for the mainstream media, out into the community. The sale and redevelopments of the area’s government-owned lands was proposed in 2003 by the Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project. Its successor organisations implemented that plan. With a third of Redfern-Waterloo lands government-owned in 2003 there has been much local development news to write about since then and there will be a lot more to come.” (Geoff Turnbull, REDWatch)

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