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Association Spotlight: Inner City
Number of members: 1425
President: Brian Webb
Secretary: John Gauci
Our meetings: We have approximately 25 to 40 people attend our meetings held at The Cyprus Club, Stanmore on Tuesdays before Council. Our Association is notorious for sending many motions to Federation Council and Executive, in 2017 alone we sent 14. Yet our meetings are very open and light-hearted. Our meeting venue provides a lot of Cypriot catering as part of the hire so we are always pleading with members to eat the food so it doesn’t go to waste. We spend a lot of time getting to know each other individually and provide practical support and advice for school issues. There is a healthy mix of both experienced teachers that have lived in the area for decades, alongside many beginning teachers.
Our community: Our area is a mixture of relative social advantage and disadvantage. While once predominantly working class and culturally diverse, it has been transformed over the past 20 years with rising house prices and an increasing population. Generally, the area has also become more affluent. A great deal of public housing has been sold off to developers, forcing many families on lower incomes to leave our community.
Our executive: We have an Aboriginal Education Contact, Peace Contact, Women’s Contact, Anti-Racism Contact, two Vice Presidents, Casual and Unemployed Teacher Contact in addition to the President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Our issues: Schools within the association are a mixture of comprehensive and selective with students requiring a diverse range of support. With rising student numbers, problems with ageing school infrastructure and resources is always an issue.
There are two very safe federal Labor seats occupied by Anthony Albanese as the Member for Grayndler and Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek as the Member for Sydney. One of our electorates had the highest number of registrations for the I Give a Gonski campaign. There is also a strong Greens presence with Jenny Leong as the NSW lower house member for Newtown.
Our focus: At the moment, most of our organising has been around excessive work overload and work-related stress. We have organised workshops with Senior Officers of Federation around workload and work, health and safety to assist our members in dealing with this ongoing issue.
Our achievements: For the past four years we have organised an annual exhibition for public school students from across the inner west of Sydney. Public School students are invited to showcase their creative work during Education Week. Students and teachers showcase paintings, drama, choirs, bands, digital artworks, short films and sculptures in the professional gallery and spaces of the Addison Road Community Centre. Our students also help curate and host the event which is attended by our federal member and regional director.
Our events: We have an annual end-of-year barefoot lawn bowls competition against Eastern Suburbs Teachers Association which is lots of fun. This is an opportunity to invite new members and meet on a relaxed social level.
We are also organising a centenary dinner to learn about the Inner City Association’s history, celebrate our successes and honour our Life Members.