7 July 2014









Dear Councillor/Sir/Madam


You are invited to attend a COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES AND FUNCTIONS COMMITTEE of Ashfield Council, to be held on Level 6, Civic Centre, 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield on TUESDAY 15 JULY 2014 at 7.00pm.
















Community Activities and Functions Committee - 15 July 2014



Members of the public are advised that meetings of Council are audio recorded to assist with ensuring an accurate record of the meeting is provided for the formal minutes of the meeting. In terms of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 this may involve the recording of personal information provided at the meeting. The provision of any information that is recorded is voluntary, however if any person does not wish to be recorded they should not address or request to address the meeting.


By remaining in this meeting, you consent to the recording of the meeting.


You are not permitted to record this meeting with any recording device, unless you have the express authorisation of Ashfield Council.


1.                  Opening


2.                  Acknowledgement of Local Aboriginal Community


3.                  Apologies/Request for Leave of Absence


4.                  Disclosures Of Interest


Disclosures to be made by any Councillors and Committee members who have a pecuniary / non-pecuniary interest in respect of matters that are before the Committee at this meeting.



5.                  Confirmation of Minutes of Council/Committees


Community Activities and Functions Committee – 15/04/2014


6.                  Staff Reports













7.                  General Business


Ashfield Council – Report to Community Activities and Functions Committee held on Tuesday 15 July 2014                                                                                   CA6.1

Subject                        LOCAL STUDIES UPDATE


File Ref                        CY45-02


Prepared by                Mandy Keevil - Reference Librarian       



Reasons                      To update Council on the operation of Local Studies Room/Resources


Objective                     To provide Council with an update of the Local Studies service,    programming & future plans for the Local Studies Room.



Overview of Report

This report covers the operation of the Local Studies Room from March 2014, the resources held, programming which has been scheduled & plans for the future.





Local Studies is the study of the local Ashfield area and surrounds and is a collection of various online resources, books, maps, and other materials from the past history of the area as well as the present day. The main goals of a Local Studies collection is to facilitate access to detailed and often unique local information on local communities; also to promote an understanding of the history, culture and development of the local area.


Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program


Council submitted an application for funding under this program in April 2014. Our submission consisted of 3 components:


§ The restoration of the Haberfield Honour Board;

§ A publication from Ashfield & District Historical Society to coincide with the Centenary of the Gallipoli landing;

§ Ashfield Remembers the ANZACS exhibition, a photographic exhibition to display historical photos relating to Ashfield from the First World War period to be displayed at Ashfield Town Hall.


 The application has now been submitted to Department of Veteran’s Affairs with recommendation from The Hon Anthony Albanese MP Federal Member For Grayndler Electorate Office. Council is expected to be notified of the outcome in the coming months




Local Studies operations in the past few months have included:

§ Social media photograph competition held during April 2014 Heritage Week ‘Caption this photograph’



§ Walk through history with Portfolio monthly drop in sessions on a Tuesday

§ Who’s been sleeping in my house? ABC TV history documentaries about the secret histories of houses was screened in the Local Studies room every Wednesday in May 2014.







Future Programming and Plans


History Week 6-14 September 2014:


§ Monday September 8, 11am: ‘Ashfield’s ANZAC Alick Bryant’ talk given by Local Studies Librarian: Local Studies Room, Level 2,  Ashfield Civic Centre


§ Wednesday September 10, 1pm: Authors at Ashfield: Robert Holden “And the Band Played On”: Level 6, Council Chambers.


§ Thursday September 11, 6.15pm for 6.45pm: Authors at Ashfield: Justin Cahill- A New Life in our History, Vol. 1. The Fatal Shore?: Local Studies Room, Level 2, Ashfield Civic Centre.


§ Saturday September 13, 10am-2pm: Open Day Local Studies Room


§ Ashfield to host October meeting of the State Library group of Local History Librarians.




Since February 2014 there have been over 50 individual visitors to the Local Studies room and the number of research enquiries completed have totalled 65.



Financial Implications


The Local Studies program is currently funded from existing Library Services Budget



Other Staff Comments




Public Consultation





The Council’ provision of a dedicated Local Studies room along with the increasing availability of more online resources for the community to access combined with the expansion of programs that will include various community groups, such as school students (both primary & high school) can only increase their knowledge of the area and hopefully their involvement or interest in local studies. 






There are no supporting documents for this report.




That the committee receive and note the report.









Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services





Ashfield Council – Report to Community Activities and Functions Committee held on Tuesday 15 July 2014                                                                                   CA6.2

Subject                        BUSINESS RELATIONS


File Ref                        SC422


Prepared by                Bernadette Selfe - Business Relations Co-Ordinator       



Reasons                      To update the Committee on recent economic activities.



Overview of Report
To provide the Community Activities and Functions Committee with an update on recent activities and initiatives regarding the business community.





Business Relations Coordinator

Council’s new Business Relations Coordinator, Bernadette Selfe started with Council on 2 June 2014. The principle responsibilities of the position are to facilitate sustainable economic development initiatives which foster and promote local businesses and employment, in parallel with providing a link between Council and the business community.



2014 Inner West Local Business Awards

Ashfield Council was a sponsor of the Inner West Local Business Awards which were held on 25 June.  30 businesses from the Ashfield Local Government Area were finalists. To acknowledge the business finalists, Council held an afternoon tea with Councillors and the finalists to acknowledge and support  this achievement. A highlight of the Awards was having three of Ashfield LGA’s businesses taking out awards in their category. These included:

Excelsior Jones Café - New Business of the Year


Mancini’s Trattoria - Summer Hill- Pizza Restaurant of the Year

OZ Hair, Ashfield Mall - Hairdresser of the Year

Oz Hair – Business of the Year for Ashfield LGA


It is acknowledged that businesses in the Ashfield Council area deliver a great service to our community and awards are one way of recognizing all that it takes to run a successful business.  



Feast of Flavours 2014

Planning is underway on the Council’s three Feast of Flavours events. The festivals will again shine a spotlight on local food retailers and the variety of other businesses in the Ashfield Local Government area.


Each of the three suburbs have a working group to help plan the events. Feedback from the working group meetings has been positive with a strong focus on enhancing the events to attract more visitors and raise the profiles of the three suburbs.


Council has commenced promoting the events. An updated marketing plan has been developed and will include listings on  visitnsw.com and sydney.com.  Both sites received just over 645,000 hits respectively for the month of May 2014. These sites are used by visitors and Sydneysiders and will assist in the promotion of the events.



Inner West Small Business Expo

The 6th Inner West Small Business Expo will be held on Friday 22 August at Burwood Community Hub. The expo provides an opportunity for local small businesses to promote their enterprise and hear from experts. The theme is reflecting the State of the Economy Report which will explore the economic environment in which businesses will operate in the immediate future. Ashfield Council is on the expo planning group with Marrickville, Burwood and Canada Bay Councils.



Ashfield Business Chamber

The  Business Relations Coordinator attended the Chamber’s meeting on 16 June 2014, and will work in partnership with the Chamber to support and promote local businesses. The Chamber is expected to launch their new website on 1 August 2014, which includes an online business directory where local businesses can register their enterprise. The new website will also enable the Chamber to have a link from Council’s website.



Small Biz Connect

Clearly Business Enterprise Centre and Ashfield Council have partnered to provide a business advisory service for local small businesses. Meetings have been held to examine enhancing the service including conducting business workshops and networking.



Small Biz Bus

The Small Biz Bus which is part of the Small Biz Connect business advisory program was at Ashfield Mall on 30 June. Local businesses were provided with a range of information and resources, along with access to business advisors.



Ashfield Business Newsletter

The  Business Relations Coordinator is responsible for developing four business newsletters annually. The first newsletter for the 2014/15 operational year will be released in July 2014.



Small Business Friendly Councils Program

Enquiries have been made about Ashfield Council participating in the Small Business Friendly Councils program. The Office of the Small Business Commissioner piloted the Small Business Friendly Councils Program in 2013. They are in the process of developing a new program based on feedback from the pilot. The program aims to increase and promote the number of councils working proactively to engage with small businesses.



Experience Croydon Park Festival

Council’s Business Relations Coordinator is supporting the Experience Croydon Park Festival by assisting the organising committee profile the event through various avenues including the Mayoral Column, Ashfield News and placing promotional flyers of the event through council facilities and at our Customer Service area.



Proposed Economic Development Strategies:-

The  Business Relations Coordinator will be developing an Economic Development Strategy which will include a range of economic development activities to underpin Council’s Plan 2013-2017 and the Community Strategic Plan 2023. These will include, but are  not limited to the following:

·    Coordinate Council events and evaluate feedback to assist in future planning

·    Coordinate opportunities for business development workshops and networking

·    Examine innovative ways to address the down turn in business in the Ashfield Local Government Area

·    Undertake a local business survey, evaluate and develop an action plan to address business needs

·    Coordinate an inter council agency meeting to examine the business environment in the Inner West

·    Identify a new initiative to encourage shops on Liverpool Road to enhance their “street appeal”

·    Examine opportunities to encourage local businesses to provide employment and/or career development opportunities for local youth

·    Examine ways to strengthen the “after dark” economy

·    Work in partnership with stakeholders to strengthen Parramatta Road’s Enterprise Zone


Financial Implications

The program of works facilitated by the Business Relations Coordinator is undertaken through existing budget allocations, however the food festivals are enhanced with staff actively seeking sponsorship opportunities for these events.




Council’s Business Relations Coordinator is promoting and activating a range of opportunities to engage with, support and enhance the Ashfield business community. 



There are no supporting documents for this report.




That the committee note and support the diverse range of activities being undertaken with and for the Ashfield business community.




Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services

Ashfield Council – Report to Community Activities and Functions Committee held on Tuesday 15 July 2014                                                                                   CA6.3

Subject                        SOCIAL PLANNING SNAPSHOT


File Ref                        SC542


Prepared by                Akshra Kaul - Social Planner       



Reasons                      To provide the Committee with an update in relation to current Social Planning activities.


Objective                     Update the Committee with regards to current Social Planning program area key activities and achievements.




Overview of Report
To update the Committee about current activities and achievements occurring under the Social Planning program area
as directed in Council’s 2013-2014 Annual Operational Plan – Social Planning.



Since the introduction of Social Planning as one of Council’s key programs, we have been actively pursuing opportunities that work towards meeting the milestones and actions as embedded in Council’s 2013-2014 Annual Operational Plan – Social Planning. Some of the key activities including achievements under this program area are as follows.


Behavioural Policy for Library Services

A Behavioural Policy is being developed in partnership with Ashfield Library Services to support changing social needs and demographics of library customers accessing Ashfield and Haberfield libraries. The Behavioural Policy will include six policy documents to assist library staff in dealing with difficult customers and create consistency and transparency in relation to library processes and procedures. An important aspect of this policy is the ability for library staff to exercise operational guidelines which support customer related issues on the library floor. In addition, this policy will create awareness about acceptable behaviours, including a Code of Conduct whilst using Ashfield Library Services. 


Achievement: To date, two of the six documents (Code of Conduct for Library Patrons and Stick to the Wall Flyer linked to material in the Code of Conduct for Library Patrons) have been endorsed by library staff. The remaining four policy documents are being drafted for distribution in the coming months. It is expected the Behavioural Policy for Library Services will be fully implemented later this year and an evaluation may be conducted following implementation.


2014 Arts, Community and Environment Grants Scheme

The 2014 Arts, Community and Environment Grants Scheme will open for applications from Monday 3 August 2014 until Friday 19 September 2014.


The draft Arts, Community and Environment Grants Policy was released for a 28 day public exhibition period (Thursday 29 May 2014 to Friday 2 June 2014) and no submissions were received. The draft Arts, Community and Environment Grants Policy is due to be adopted by Council on Tuesday 8 July 2014.


In 2014 the Arts, Community and Environment Grants Scheme includes an Arts component to support Arts and Cultural projects that enhance and nurture Arts and Culture in the Ashfield Local Government Area. The intent of the Arts component of the Arts, Community and Environment Grants Scheme is to support artists and community groups and organisations who are working towards the common objectives identified under the themes ‘Creative and Inclusive Communities’ and ‘Living Sustainably’ as outlined in Ashfield Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2023.


Achievements: Introduction of the Arts component under the Arts, Community and Environment Grants Policy. The 2014 Arts, Community and Environment Grants Scheme will also be supported by a new branding strategy, a comprehensive communication campaign and guidelines to support the application process. 


Crime Prevention Strategy

Council has identified the Crime Prevention Strategy should be updated to reflect current top crimes in the Ashfield Local Government Area. Council is drafting the revised Crime Prevention Strategy in partnership with the Ashfield Local Area Command who are assisting with collection of crime statistics for the Ashfield Local Government Area.


Achievement: It is expected the Crime Prevention Strategy will be available publicly in early to mid 2015 following endorsement from the NSW Attorney General’s Department as a Safer Community Compact.


Housing affordability submission

Council has submitted a response to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing which demonstrated Council’s commitment to providing secure, safe and affordable housing to residents living in the Ashfield Local Government Area. The submission highlighted the current housing market is not accommodating for the needs of a high proportion of Ashfield residents and in particular lower income families and those receiving the aged pension. 


Achievement: Numerous recommendations have been made in the submission to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable. Recommendations include the NSW Government should continue to work with Council to facilitate the supply of affordable housing using planning mechanisms which would strengthen opportunities for increasing the potential site yield of development sites. The NSW Government should examine the potential for implementing a system which is currently operating in the United Kingdom where developers are obliged to provide a proportion of affordable housing as part of (substantial) developments. This new development planning framework should perhaps be examined to ascertain whether aspects of this system have merit in an "Australian context".



Women’s Refuges Closing in NSW

Council is committed to supporting women’s refuges in NSW and believe that women should have access to safe accommodation and specialist care services based in a women only environment. The Going Home, Staying Home reform plan impacts women’s refuges in NSW as they are changing from being on a three yearly funding cycle to competing in a tender process. Furthermore, the tender process for Inner Sydney refuges have been designed such that women only refuges are not able to submit tenders as women only refuges. This means many well regarded long established women only refuges across NSW will be forced to close. Refuges which will be forced to close include Detour House, for women who are homeless due to drug and alcohol dependency and Stepping Out Housing for female child sexual abuse survivors.


Achievement: Council has written Letters of Support to the following Members of Parliament.

-    The Hon. Mike Baird MP

-    The Hon. Gabrielle Upton MP

-    Mr Charles Casuscelli MP

-    The Hon. Linda Burney MP, and

-    Ms Robyn Parker MP

Seeking their support to stop women’s refuge from closing in NSW and reconsidering the tender process to allow women only services to continue to operate in NSW.


Ashfield Social Snapshot

Council has actively been promoting the Ashfield Social Snapshot to the Ashfield community and key stakeholders through Council’s website and other media sources. The Ashfield Social Snapshot was developed to strengthen and develop partnerships with key stakeholders. In doing this, the report provides a social snapshot of the Ashfield Local Government Area based on the 2011 Census data. The Ashfield Social Snapshot has been used as a key tool for promoting the social issues and demographics within the Ashfield Local Government Area.


Achievement: In May 2014, Council hosted two presentations to NRMA workshop participants which provided an overview of Ashfield’s age structure, diversity, education, disability and so forth based on the Social Snapshot of Ashfield. NRMA was interested in providing an overview of the Ashfield Local Government Area to their employees due to the considerable level of diversity present in the area.


Financial Implications



Other Staff Comments



Public Consultation

The Behavioural Policy for Library Services is being developed in consultation with Ashfield Library Services.



The 2014 Arts, Community and Environment Grants Policy was available for public exhibition, Thursday 29 May 2014 to Friday 2 June 2014.


The Crime Prevention Strategy will be developed in partnership with the Ashfield Local Area Command.


The Women’s Refuge’s Closing in NSW matter originated from Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre who have requested NSW Councils write to their State and Local Members of Parliament to stop women’s refuges from closing in NSW.


The Ashfield Social Snapshot has been made available to the local community through Council’s website and other media sources.



The Social Planning program area is continuing to conduct key activities that supports and meet the service standards under Council’s 2013-2014 Annual Operational Plan – Social Planning.





There are no supporting documents for this report.




That the Committee note the key activities and achievements under the Social Planning program area.










Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services





Ashfield Council – Report to Community Activities and Functions Committee held on Tuesday 15 July 2014                                                                                   CA6.4

Subject                        LIBRARY STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE


File Ref                        Library Strategic Plan


Prepared by                Therese Scott - Central & Branch Team Leader, Karen Dwarte - Collection Management Team Leader       



Reasons                      To advise Council of key completed actions from the Library Strategic Plan 2012-2016


Objective                     To provide Council with an update on key actions from the plan which have been implemented



Overview of Report
The Library Strategic Plan 2012-2016 was adopted by Council in 2013. This plan informs all of the library public programming, collections, funding requests and staff development. This report provides an update on recently completed activities directly related to the key objectives.





Grants Team

Four grant applications were submitted in the past 3 months. The principle in the plan of Sustainable Management by seeking funding from outside bodies is satisfied in these applications. The grants targeted the following:

•    Saturday Storytime

•    Craft Sessions for Adults

•    Mental Health Month Puppets Performance for Adults

These three grants relate specifically to the key principles in the plan of Lifelong Learning and Life Skills.


•    Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program

The ANZAC application relates to the principle of Heritage. Funding sought included the upgrade of the Haberfield Roll of Honour.



The principle in the plan of Effective Partnerships continues to be met and enhanced through the following collaborations.

•    Library will be partnering for the first time with the Metro Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in October to present a Mental Health Month event from a local meditation instructor. This event will be specifically targeted at the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities (CALD).

•    Library, Community Programs and MRC are partnering to present the Ashfield Laughter Club giving an interactive session on National Stress Down Day, Friday 25     July.



•    Library are partnering with Ashfield and District Historical Society in presenting two events to celebrate History Week in September.

•    One is an evening Authors at Ashfield event on Thursday September 11 at 6.45pm with Justin Cahill focusing on his e-book about early settlers including John Laurie who was the owner of Ashfield Park Estate.

•    The other event is an inaugural Open Day: Hands on with History in the Local Studies  Room Saturday September 13  10am-2pm.

•    Library continues its partnership with Councils’ Sustainability Team to present an Authors at Ashfield event on Wednesday August 13 at 6.45pm with the founder of The Urban Beehive, Doug Purdie with his book Backyard Bees.



2014 Programming

The following snapshot of various program activities undertaken this quarter, fulfil the principles in the strategic plan of : Lifelong Learning; Community Diversity and Life Skills.

•     Monthly Craft Making classes for Adults booked out with 30 in attendance. People create and take home handmade photo frames, pot stand holders and more. This particularly appeals to members of our CALD community.

•     Adult Learners’ Week in September will provide the community with opportunities to learn about travel writing; become adept at drawing cartoons from a local artist, be hands on with new technology and finally master the art of Cryptic Crosswords in two workshops.

•     Ashfield Laughter Club will present an interactive session on 25 July National Stress Down Day.

•     Saturday Storytime is extremely popular with 90 in attendance in June for a colourful and vibrant performance from professional storyteller Bronwyn Vaughan. Two more weekend storytimes are confirmed for August and November.

•     Mental Health Month in October will promote the theme of ‘YOUnique’ through a craft class and meditation workshop and, depending on grant funding, an interactive puppet show for adults.





Heritage is the key principle from the plan with the opening earlier this year of the Local Studies Room. The Local studies room and associated activities including documentary viewings, assistance with research, a Facebook caption competition around a photo from Archives have all been well utilised.

History Week in September will commemorate the Great War and our program includes:

•     an author talk on a book about the music the Anzacs listened to: And the Band Played on by Robert Holden

•     the local studies librarian will give a talk on Ashfield’s own Anzac, Alick Bryant;

•     evening author talk supported by Ashfield and District Historical Society about John Laurie, the owner of the Ashfield Park Estate,



•     an open day in the Local Studies Room supported by Ashfield and District Historical Society will encourage the community get ‘hands on with history’ through exploring Council’s Archives and digital resources.


The principle of Maintaining Ashfield and Haberfield Library Facilities has been met with:-

·    the purchase of 20 new seats and 14 ottomans for Ashfield Library.

·    Staff have also been developing a Draft Behaviour Policy and Protocol for the Library Service with staff being consulted on its content.



The principles of Participation in Democracy and Life Skills are well served by the addition of Volunteer Library shelvers to the team. Three enthusiastic community members have received training and a library induction. They are now actively engaged on a weekly basis to return items, shelve them and shelfcheck the collections. Two teenage volunteers have also helped with activities in three School Holiday programs.



Collaborative Technology Projects

Ashfield Library’s goal is to keep pace with ongoing and complex developments in Library and Online technologies in order to enhance customer service outcomes, and to meet community needs and expectations. In order to achieve this goal, Ashfield library has an overarching strategy of collaboration and resource sharing, so IT knowledge and resources are shared making the process cost effective and efficient.




Ashfield libraries participation in SWIFTNSW continues to work well with the numbers  of Intra-library loans each month in excess of eight hundred. Ashfield community is benefiting well when compared with the larger communities of Marrickville and Kogarah.







Our key technology partner, SirsiDynix, is an international company which undertakes ongoing technology research and development and who in recent years has developed a range of new technologies under the Umbrella name of BlueCloud that Council can take advantage of through our membership within Swift.   SirsiDynix showcase their technology developments through a program of demonstrations known as the SirsiDynix Roadshow.


Ashfield Library staff have attended the demonstrations and have also participated in meetings with other users of SirsiDynix in New South Wales User Group(SNUG). This has allowed us to talk to other libraries on the use of technology and plan the most appropriate technology. SirsiDynix has a rewards program Bluecloud rewards, for long term customers and Ashfield was credited with $2,600 which we have used to purchase eResource Central.


eResource Central

SirsiDynix’s eResource Central provides libraries with an integrated technology that enables access to all library resources, including ebooks and e-journals, via the library OPAC. The technology simplifies requests, downloads, and matching of compatible e-books and e-reader formats. When Ashfield has eResource Central incorporated into the OPAC it will appear as below.


Ashfield is doing comparatively well compared to Kogarah and Marrickville where larger populations exist in the community.  While e-library is still popular, possibly because patrons have it bookmarked in their browser, the trend clearly shows increased use of the new OPAC with Ashfield’s community.  Ashfield’s patrons are placing holds online and registering online with both actions representing wider community access and workflow efficiencies for staff.    eResource Central will enhance further the ability for the community to access library resources directly from the OPAC. Currently the library OPAC is attracting many visitors and patrons are using the integrated tools for placing holds.    





Another consortia in which Ashfield  participates is Overdrive, working together with Canada Bay, Burwood, Strathfield and Marrickville. Ashfield patrons account for 24% of loans from Overdrive and this is a good result. Overall the service attracts around one hundred new users per month. Loans of traditional books and materials have declined by a very small percentage overall in the 2013-2014 financial year with a total of 375,506 loans with 13,902 eBook loans consortia wide adding 3.7 % to the loans. 



Loans by Format 2013/2014













Internet Access

The library currently provides the community with Internet access and printing through Management software from Envisionware enabling us to manage borrower access. During 2013-2014 Financial year the library provided 29,192 internet sessions to the community. Wireless access is also available throughout the Library and Civic centre and this has been used to extensively. Over the period January to March 2014, there were 1,043 Hotspot logins with 207 unique devices or users. Length of usage varies, some patrons use the service regularly but only have brief sessions, while others have longer but less frequent sessions.



Technology Grant

Money via a grant from the State government was delivered to us for providing iPads and and ebook readers for our Home Library Service patrons.  We currently have two hundred and six registered home library patrons to whom we deliver reading materials.



Social Media

The Library joined Facebook in December 2011, being one of the first public libraries to do so. At the end of March 2014, we had 124 likes, which was a 14.81% increase over the previous quarter. As of June 2014, we have 156 likes, and this is steadily increasing. From January to March 2014, 1373 users had interacted with our Facebook page, and again this is increasing every month.


The Library joined Twitter in May 2011, and  staff usually post daily about our events and collections. As of June 2014, we have 495 followers, including patrons, other libraries, library professionals, and authors. Our page is very interactive, so far receiving 1035 Tweets.



Roving Reference

The traditional service point for reference enquiries, the Information Desk, is a formal and possibly formidable place, in some instances, for our customers and staff to engage.


Experience in some libraries has revealed that some customers may prefer to approach library staff who are on their feet and roaming the Library floor. The availability of wireless computing devices have the potential to enhance this type of customer service delivery.


Ashfield Library is currently investigating a formal way of evaluating the efficiencies and benefits of a Roving Reference service. A meeting will be held on July 18 with a representative of the State Library of NSW and other SSROC libraries interested in Roving evaluation. The response from libraries has been very positive. The State Library have gathered documents on best practice for Roving, and these will be discussed by the group, and an evaluation model developed, which will be implemented at Ashfield Library to improve the way we carry out customer service and reference enquiries.





Graphic Novel Collections

Ashfield Library has an extensive range of Graphic Novels, which are a popular borrowing and browsing collection in the Library. A Graphic Novel is a long-form comic, sometimes with a complex storyline covering themes such as memoir and war, and are often aimed at a more mature audience. Ashfield Library is planning its first graphic novel event in September called Comic Con-versation. This will be an evening event, and has caused much interest within the local comics’ community wishing to participate. Ashfield Library sees this event as a way to connect with a new demographic, and support the local comics community who are producing high quality and popular works that have not always found their way into libraries. In preparation for the event, staff at the Library have been searching out and building up the collection of works by independent Australian graphic novelists through the connections made in organising this event.




Zinio is our online magazine resource, and over 100 titles are available via the library website, providing our patrons with simultaneous digital access to the current issue of the magazines as soon as they are available to purchase in hard copy.


Some of the latest additions to titles to be added to our Zinio collection are : Audubon, Australian Four Four Two, Delicious, Donna Hay, Inked, Mother Jones and Teen Now.

From January to June 2014, 8079 magazines were downloaded, and this is a rise of nearly 40% from downloads in July to December 2013. The five most popular magazines to be downloaded so far in 2014 have been OK! Magazine, The Economist – Asia Edition, Taste, Delicious and Newsweek.




IndieFlix provides our library patrons with unlimited access to stream independent films online, with a selection of award-winning shorts, feature films and documentaries from over 50 countries. Since its introduction to our catalogue in March, there have been 164 film viewings.




A new online service, Freegal, will be launched on our website in July 2014. This will round out our suite of online services available to the public : books, magazines, movies and now music. Freegal is an innovative and legal (Free and Legal, hence the name) MP3 download service which allow Ashfield Library members to download songs from the extensive Sony catalogue, as well as many independent music labels. Freegal offers access to thousands of artists, millions of songs, and over 100 genres of music. Freegal is also the first library music service to offer the music as MP3s that don’t have DRM (Digital Rights Management) copy-protection schemes, which means that library patrons can listen to them on multiple devises. Library members will be able to download and keep the songs into their iTunes libraries. We will also be offering Freegal’s streaming music service, and combined with the free Freegal mobile app, patrons will be able to search and stream music on the go. 




Major Procurement Review

The SSROC libraries have recently updated the SSROC Cataloguing and Processing Specifications document, which assists in obtaining discounts through our suppliers and standardising practices across public library services. In July the SSROC libraries will meet to review the suppliers of our major collections : Adult and Junior Fiction and Non Fiction. This review process will assess how our suppliers are performing to KPIs for selection, cataloguing and processing, customer service, delivery times, and packaging, will feed into improving the selection of the new items and quality control.



Niche Collections

Ashfield, Botany Bay, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Kogarah, Marrickville and Rockdale, have now been joined by Strathfield, in the SSROC Cooperative Purchasing Project (although Strathfield is not an SSROC library, the project is inclusive of other interested libraries). Also two new collections, School Resources and HSC, have been added to the purchasing schedule. The 2014/15 schedule and budgets have been finalised through a review meeting that was held June. The niche collections of Talking Books, Graphic Novels, English Learning Resources, as well as the two new collections,  will be purchased through specialist suppliers, with greater discounts obtained buying as a group and sharing cataloguing costs. 



Financial Implications

The Library Strategic Plan is being implemented within existing budget parameters.


Other Staff Comments



Public Consultation





The vision and actions reflected in the Library Strategic Plan 2012-2016 continue to be progressively realised.




There are no supporting documents for this report.





That the Committee note the continually expanding diversity of programs and resources delivered by Ashfield Library Services.



Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services

Ashfield Council – Report to Community Activities and Functions Committee held on Tuesday 15 July 2014                                                                                   CA6.5

Subject                        COMMUNITY PROGRAMS UPDATE


File Ref                        Community Activities Committee


Prepared by                Jane Pollard - Community Programs, Team Leader       



Reasons                      To provide the committee with an update on the suite of programs and services provided by Council’s Community Programs team.



Overview of Report

To provide the committee with a snapshot of the current suite of programs and services provided by Council’s Community Programs team.






Aboriginal Cultural Officer  - Patricia Blackman has been officially appointed to this position at 7 hours per week.  The main priority of this role involves the implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan.


Arts & Cultural Development worker – Recently Council resolved to employ a part time (3 day/week) 12-month position to activate the Civic Centre forecourt area and town hall. 120 applications were received for this role, interviews have been undertaken and the successful candidate will start in July 2014.


Postcard campaign – To assist enhance promotion of Community Programs and Services a postcard campaign has been devised with the aim to improve branding, better package programs to illustrate the depth and breadth of work already happening for particular target groups and to improve collaboration across teams:-

A suite of 5 postcards has been developed with a consistent slogan on the front cover ‘Community Programs & Services - working with and for the community’, and customised back covers for the following programs:

·    Community Programs and Services – summary of overall offerings

·    Programs targeting Seniors

·    Arts and Culture programs

·    Youth Theatre

·    Business Relations





1.  Arts & Culture

Artist in Residence (AIR) program

1.1.1   Xin Li, AIR April – June 2014 – A very successful program was rolled out with Xin completing and contributing the following during his stay:

·    Completion of a new short animated film ‘The Autumn’

·    Facilitation of workshops for the community and local school groups

·    An exhibition of drawings from the film, screening and outdoor projection of two of his films onto the front of the Town Hall building 16 - 20 June 2014

·    A donation of 7 drawings to Council from the film

·    Participation in the Merry Month of May – free portraits for the public

·    Xin also attracted some portraiture commissions to be completed during his stay


1.1.2   AIR Artist 1October – December 2014 - Gary Freeman, a visual artist from New Zealand will be the artist in resident during this period.


1.1.3   Thirning Villa maintenance – the Villa will be closed from 1 July to 30 September 2014 for maintenance purposes.  This first stage of maintenance will focus on the internal, and will include addressing the rising damp, repairing the ceiling and painting.  External work is planned for later in the financial year to address external painting, lack of lighting and adequate way finding signage.


1.1.4   AIR Review – The AIR program is currently being reviewed, and all associated paperwork updated.  The program will continue to include 4 x 3 month residencies targeting artists that reside outside the Sydney metropolitan area.  One international will be included in the program annually; in the 2014/15 round there will be at least one Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander artist.  The schedule for the residencies will alter slightly to the meet the following timeframe on an annual basis:

·    Mid July 2014 - Expression of Interest  (EOI) process opens

·    End Sept 2014 - EOI closes

·    Oct -2014 - Applications assessed

·    Early Nov 2014 – Applicants notified



·    New residency timeframe

Residency 1 – May – July

Residency 2 – August – October

Residency 3 – November – Jan

Residency 4 –February – April

Due to the above rescheduling there is currently no artist booked for the January to April 2015 period.  Staff are planning to do a targeted Expression of Interest process in July, with a focus on attracting an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artist.



1.2 Arts & Culture framework (DRAFT)  – To Support and document the integrated approach to Arts and Culture across Council an Arts and Culture framework is currently being developed. The intention of the framework is to illustrate the breadth of work that falls within this program area, the associated policies, target groups, identified roles and responsibilities across Council and expected outcomes. This framework will support and direct actions identified in appropriate Operational Plans, and will also frame the direction of new and future arts and culture work, policies and outcomes.


1.3 Artist Xchange pilot – Felicity Nicol, the new Ashfield Youth Theatre (AYT) Director has established a pilot program to supplement the AYT program.  The aim of the program is for appropriate artist/s to exchange their skills (workshops for the young people attending AYT) for access to free space (Graham Yarroll room Haberfield) to develop an element of their own practice.  A targeted Expression of Interest was released in early June, with the pilot expecting to start in August 2014.


1.4 Instigation of independent artist grant – Council has extended the Community and Environment grants program to include an ‘Arts’ component.  Up to $2000 grants are available to support both emerging and established artist(s) to develop a project/idea that enhances Ashfield as an arts and cultural precinct.


1.5 Public Art Policy - A policy has been drafted and a cross organisational working party formed to support the development of this important piece of work.  The purpose of this policy is to provide direction and guidance to plan, develop, create, commission and install outstanding Public Art that enhances the diverse and unique identity and contemporary image of the Ashfield Local Government Area.  It will also provide guidance in relation to funding and preservation of public art, and provide support to development services in relation to managing developer contributions towards the arts.


1.6 Activation of forecourt and town hall – With the successful recruitment of the part time Arts and Culture Development worker noted above, plans for this body of work will commence mid July 2014.



1.7 Arts & Culture advisory group – Community Programs will re-establish this group.   A call out was placed in the most recent Ashfield Council Newsletter.  The overall aim of the group is to provide Council with a pool of local community members with relevant skills and knowledge to be called upon to:

·    Guide and provide comment on the development and implementation of relevant policies and guidelines, including the Public Art Policy

·    Provide guidance on the Arts and Culture framework

·    Be consulted on relevant Council initiatives within the Arts and Culture domain

·    Assist with:

Assessing applications under the Arts, Community & Environment scheme

Selecting artist for the Artist in Residency program

Assessing Public Art submissions 



2.  Children and Family

2.1 Red Bug playgroup The playgroup remains well attended by local children and families from different countries such as China, India, Burma, Japan, Portugal, Korea, Ireland and Chile. An average of 136 children and their families attended the playgroup each week during the first half of 2014. Council has supported the group by providing parenting sessions and Library visits.


2.2 Ashfield Aquatic Centre Childminding Service – Council has continued to provide the free childminding service for Ashfield Aquatic Centre patrons and received positive feedback from service users. Average daily attendance at the service for the first half of 2014 was 15.35 children. It is a great support service especially for parents with young children in that it provides them with a chance to have some time for themselves and exercise - which is very important for their physical and mental health.


2.3 School Holiday Programs – Council’s free school holiday programs for children and young people remain extremely popular among Ashfield families and are always booked out very quickly. Some of the activities Council has provided included: Sushi Making Workshop, Skateboarding Workshop, Ukulele Workshop, Drawing Workshop, Soccer Clinic and Science Workshop. An average of 60 children attend the program each school holiday. 


2.4 Parenting program – Council has continued to partner with CatholicCare to provide free parenting seminars for local parents. A 3-week 123 Magic and Emotion Coaching course was especially popular, attended by 27 parents each week. Council has arranged CatholicCare parenting educators to conduct parenting talks at local playgroups such as Red Bug, Wangal Playgroup and Ashfield Wednesday Playgroup in order to provide more access to parent education for local families who cannot attend parenting courses because of childcare responsibilities. It has been very successful and well received by the playgroup members. Council has conducted a very successful Building Parenting Capacity: Info Sessions for Chinese and Korean families in partnership with local community organisations and government agencies, which were attended by an average of 25 and 50 families respectively.


Council has run a couple of baby massage course for parents of babies and it has seen mothers of babies, who usually do not attend Council’s program, participating in the program. The course is in high demand with a long waitlist.


2.5 Grants & Projects – Council has successfully conducted a Child Restraint Safety Check in Ashfield during National Families Week with a small grant from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). It also has been granted funding from Families NSW Resourcing Parents for the amount of $1200 to deliver a baby massage for dads. Council’s English Conversation Program, which is funded by Wests Ashfield Leagues and Club Ashfield, remains popular among migrants and refugees living in Ashfield and is attended by 60-70 people each week.


2.6 Multicultural Social Support Group - The group is a joint project between Ashfield Council and Metro Migrant Resource Centre and it continues to be active with an average of 18 migrants attending each week. A range of information sessions, workshops and activities were delivered, which increased migrants’ knowledge and understanding of Australian society, culture and community services.


2.7 Volunteer Program – Currently Council manages 12 volunteer English tutors and 11 volunteer language assistants. Council works closely with Mission Australia and Volunteer Network to provide training for volunteers and volunteer opportunities for community members. Council hosted a volunteers morning tea during National Volunteer week in May to thank its dedicated volunteers.



3.  Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) implementation

3.1 Tree Trunk project – Artist, James Eastwood has been engaged to carve a tree trunk in Ashfield Park.   Work has commenced, and is due to be completed July 2014. 


3.2 Traineeship - Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) - Since mid-February 2014, Council has been supporting a school-based trainee, through AES. She is currently in Year 11 and part of her study includes completing a Certificate II in Business Studies. The traineeship at Council provides a practical component to this Certificate of study. The young person is working each Wednesday and is based in the Community Programs unit. She has been working across several Departments in Council including Customer Services, Health and Planning Department, Library and Community Programs with a focus on assisting the youth programs.  A highlight to date was her role as emcee at the recent Reconciliation BBQ.  The traineeship meets one of the goals of Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan, that is to provide employment opportunities for Aboriginal people. Staff have noted that the trainee is a delight to work with and the additional assistance across Council’s program of works has been highly regarded by staff.  She will be working with Council until December 2015.


4.  Seniors

4.1 Ageing and Disability directory –  printed, and online version now available via the Council website.  800 copies have been distributed to relevant community groups, and copies have also been left in libraries and at Council’s Customer Service. 



4.2 Men’s Shed – Council will continue to fund his program annually to the value of $34,740.  The program director will be presenting an update and overview of the program to the next Seniors Committee meeting in August 2014.  It should be noted this program will be relocating from Lewisham to Haberfield in late 2014.



5.  Youth

5.1 Youth Committee – Leadership training & planning - Youth Committee members attended a Leadership Training session in June. The training explored leadership styles and strengths as well as the aspirations of members, in relation to the Committee’s future work. This training will be followed up by an annual planning session, in July. The Committee will be invited to set targeted goals in five key areas: youth events, supporting Council projects, consultation/ policy/youth issues, promotion as well as advocacy.


5.2 headspace Ashfield – In April 2014 Council resolved to enter into an agreement with New Horizons to found the unique opportunity to partner with the nationally funded headspace initiative to establish headspace Ashfield. In the ensuing period Council has been consulting with young people, winding down the current youth drop in service, negotiating an appropriate lease, attended the first headspace Ashfield consortia meeting and Council’s Group Manager, Community Programs and Services has been formally appointed as the independent chairperson to the headspace consortium. The headspace service to promote the improved health and mental health outcomes of young people 12 – 25 years in Ashfield and across the inner west is expected to be operational as of November 2014.


5.3 Youth Drop In  - The introduction of headspace to the Youth Space will impact on the delivery of the Youth Drop In service in its current form, which will cease to operate at the Youth Centre from 2 July. Council is committed to continuing youth programming in Ashfield and to ensure a smooth transition for these young participants. Staff have been exploring opportunities for short term and long term programming. These options include the relocation of the Youth Drop In program to the Ashfield Town Hall, running a range of weekly workshops in the areas of employment skills, living skills, arts and culture. These short term options allow Council to provide a continuous program of services to local young people. In the long term, Council is able to develop more complex programming that links in with Council’s strategic goals listed in the Community Plan. Council staff are exploring opportunities to engage local young people to activate the Civic Centre Forecourt, attract more youth to the Greenway shared pathway and being involved in activating laneways in the town centre through community artworks, performance and other opportunities.


Financial Implications

All of Council’s current community programs and activities have been undertaken within the 2013/14 budget allocations.




Other Staff Comments




Public Consultation

Staff continue to review existing initiatives and undertake regular consultation with the community to ensure programs are meeting the community’s diverse needs.




Councils Community Programs team continue to support, expand and deliver a broad diversity and range of activities, programs and initiatives for and with the local community. The establishment of diverse partnerships, outsourcing of funding opportunities and reflecting the vision and actions in the Community Strategic Plan 2023 are fundamental considerations to ensuring the community and organisations strategic vision is met.





There are no supporting documents for this report.




That the committee note the diversity and expansion of the broad range of activities, programs and initiatives being delivered by Council’s Community Programs team.









Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services