Creativity builds public pride

Community ties: Zac, Akahay, Loanna, Clay, Thea, teacher Lawrence Del Prado, teacher aide Sue Lyzwa, Christian Tancred from Information Cultural Exchange, Cr Jackie Greenow, Jordyn and Alishia have created strong bonds through the Wearing the Crown project. Picture: Gary WarrickFRESH blood has been injected into Penrith Council’s plans for North St Marys and Werrington.
Nanjing Night Net

More than 60 students celebrated their one-year involvement in the council’s Wearing the Crown creative community engagement project last Wednesday.

The students, guided by professional artists, took photos, designed digital comic strips, and wrote and recorded hip-hop songs to tell stories about where they live.

The students’ ideas will be implemented in the council’s neighbourhood action plans for North St Marys and Werrington.

They include the need for more youth programs, improving safety around Werrington Lake and addressing the stigma attached to living in these suburbs.

Participants were from North St Marys and Werrington public schools, Chifley College Dunheved and Werrington Youth College.

“It was a great opportunity for the students to be civic participants and have some fun,” the council neighbourhood community engagement officer Heather Chaffey said.

The song Naming of the Crown was derived from lyrics written by Chifley College students.

“We took the lyrics as meaning they’re fiercely proud of where they’re from,” teacher Sue Waddell said.

Chifley College Dunheved principal Tim Jones described it as a wonderful program.

“It’s about young people being engaged in the community and having a positive influence on council,” he said. “There’s a growing pride of North St Marys and the importance of belonging. It has empowered the students and made them feel part of the community.”

Penrith councillors attended to see the results of the program last week.

“We have a strong community here in North St Marys,” Cr Jackie Greenow said.

“What it does for the kids is it makes them feel they’ve achieved something.”

Cr Prue Car added: “Council should take heed and retain a strong connection to better understand what drives these communities.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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