Sydney People

Co-founder of the Sydney Story Factory, a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people

"We were inspired by 826 Valencia, a writing centre for young people in San Francisco. We saw how well that was working and thought Sydney should have something similar. So with my co-founder, Tim Dick, we set one up ourselves. We decided that Redfern was the best place to put it. We opened in July 2012. 

Our very first funding came from the Lord Mayor’s Salary Trust, which was fantastic! Our principal partner is UBS and we raise other money through philanthropic foundations. We’ve also had a community grant from the City of Sydney. And then there’s The Home Project that we’ve been doing, which is a community writing project about Redfern and Waterloo. The City of Sydney also supported that with a cultural grant.  

Redfern has changed so much. One of the big themes of The Home Project is gentrification. The project looked at the advantages of that, the cost, how the Aboriginal community will still be active and alive, and the public housing community, which feels under threat because of what’s happening in Millers Point. 

There are also things that have changed hugely for the better. One of the things we talk about is how crime by young people in the area has plummeted. There are so many success stories in Redfern now. I think it’s now full of really helpful, really inspiring stories."

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Last updated: Tuesday, 26 August 2014