Hunter Community Alliance is a broad-based collaboration and is inclusive of community, environmental, ethnic and cultural groups, unions, and religious organisations. Its purpose is to strengthen organisations, and the connectivity between them, through story, training and advocacy – to advance the common good of the Hunter Region.
Hunter Community Alliance was born out of a need identified by several local community leaders and organisers who had seen the model work for Sydney Alliance.
Organisations that form the Hunter Community Alliance Sponsoring Committee are:
- Australian Conservation Foundation, Hunter Chapter
- Adamstown Uniting Church
- Baha'i Spiritual Assembly of Newcastle
- Catholic Diocese - Maitland-Newcastle
- Cessnock Uniting Church
- Charlestown and Garden Suburbs Uniting Church
- Climate Action Newcastle
- Community Disability Alliance Hunter
- Family Inclusion Strategies Hunter
- Glenrock Anglican Parish
- Hamilton Uniting Church
- Healthy Connection for All
- Newcastle Climate Change Response
- The Wilderness Society
Hunter Community Alliance is currently in the development stage of building a sustainable alliance.
Our Achievements in 2020
We're growing and building power
In 2020, despite a global pandemic, Hunter Community Alliance has grown its membership and funding base.
A Fair Rate For A Fair Future
Advocated for a permanent increase to JobSeeker and the pensions, and widening eligibility for JobSeeker, JobKeeper and medicare to temporary visa holders and many casual workers not receiving support. 22 community leaders co-signed advocacy letters sent to MPs and Ministers. This advocacy resulted in All Hunter MPs except one endorsing our policy asks.
NSW Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen met with Alliance members representing CatholicCare Hunter-Manning, Hunter Homeless Connect, Scone and Cessnock Uniting Churches, and Singleton Neighbourhood Centre. Mr Johnsen agreed to present our policy asks to his party room in January 2021 on behalf of his constituents and seek its support.
See our media on this campaign here:
Training Community Organisers
This year we trained 60 people from the Hunter Region in our Community Organising Foundations program. This was across three training programs, one in person and two online. Trainees came from a diverse breadth of our community and included Bishops and Ministers, CEOs and directors, parishioners and congregation members, volunteer group convenors and activists, Christians, Baha'is, and Muslims, business owners, environmentalists, and trade union members.
This training led to several new members taking on new roles in their public life as community organisers, group leaders, and advocates.
This foundations training is based on the philosophy and practices developed by the Industrial Areas Foundation in over 65 years of successful organising experience. These ideas are translated to an Australian context to cover the very essentials of what organising is and how we implement it here in the Hunter.
It is interactive, thoughtful and made for people with all levels of experience. Concepts worked through include ideas of power, our roles as public people and what strength looks like. As practical as it is theoretical, it teaches the tools to start building public relationships and working through the organising cycle to solve problems in our communities.
Our lead organiser had over 200 relational meetings with Hunter leaders and active community members. And we launched a 6-month Listening Campaign with 20 organisations to discover what the issues felt most widely and deeply across the Hunter are.
In March and April we heard from 40 community leaders who represented 33 different organisations about how they were experiencing the coronavirus pandemic. The themes were mapped and discussion led to a consensus that as an Alliance we advocate for a permanent increase to JobSeeker and the pensions.
Our part-time organiser, Callan Lawrence, is meeting with leaders of community, union, environmental, ethnic and cultural groups, and religious organisations who are interested in working for the common good of the Hunter.
If you are interested in connecting with Callan and our Alliance, please contact him at: [email protected]