Partnering with communities

The WestConnex Community Connections Program supports initiatives and programs that benefit the economies, communities and environments impacted by and benefiting from WestConnex motorway. Through this program, we aim to contribute to creating liveable communities and to increase opportunities for equitable training and employment.

The Community Connections Program is aligned to the WestConnex Sustainability Strategy to deliver outcomes in five key areas:

  • Health 
  • Environment 
  • Safety 
  • Cultural heritage 
  • Economic development 

Two foundation elements of the program are the Community Grant Scheme and our Community Partnerships.

Community Grant Scheme

The WestConnex Community Grant Scheme supports and delivers positive and lasting outcomes for communities located within close proximity to the WestConnex project.

Providing up to $10,000 to each eligible community organisation, these funds are used to deliver initiatives that provide a sustainable legacy with lasting benefits to the local economy, community or natural environment. 

Objective

We aim to support initiatives directly benefiting eligible community groups, to deliver outcomes in:

  • Health and safety
  • Environment, sustainability and cultural heritage
  • Education and economic development
Guidelines


Download the Community Grant Scheme guidelines to view the eligibility and assessment criteria. Please carefully read the guidelines before you apply to ensure your organisation and initiative is eligible.

How to apply
The next round of grants will be opening soon. You can apply by completing the Application form, which will be made available on our website once a grant round opens. Once submitted, applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their application.

For more information you can email us or call toll-free during business hours on 1800 660 248.

Simulation Equipment for The Children's Hospital at Westmead

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is the largest paediatric centre in NSW specialising in treating seriously ill children from all across NSW, Australia and the Pacific Rim.

Simulation education and training is vital for medical and nursing staff in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to have the opportunity to learn in a safe environment to improve patient outcomes. Through this real life simulation, both medical & nursing staff can learn how to respond in situations and improve practice.

WestConnex supports The Children's Hospital, Westmead

This enables PICU to continue to provide exceptional simulation scenarios with the ultimate goal of contributing to patient safety through training and education of staff.

“The iSimulate equipment which has been generously donated by WestConnex allows our medical and nursing staff the opportunity to train and learn how to respond to life threatening situations which affect the children we look after, within a safe and controlled environment. We take real life scenarios such as a child who has been in a motor vehicle accident or cardiac arrest and use the software to simulate the emergency so we can train our team and ensure they’re ready for the real thing.

“This essential equipment is an integral part of our PICU training which allows our team to focus on teamwork and medical technical skills, helping to better prepare our medical practitioners and nurses"

David Harper, PICU Acting Nurse Manager said.

 

Swim & Survive program for the children of East African migrants and refugees

Swim program, “Swim, Survive and Socialise” for the children of East African migrants and refugees living in western Sydney has been expanded, empowering a new generation of children with vital swimming and water safety skills.  This program is run through the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency (HARDA). 

Horn of Africa

WestConnex is proud to be supporting this important initiative which is giving migrants and refugee children aged between six and 15 from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia the opportunity to participate in a free, safe and fun program where they’re learning crucial skills to help keep them safe in the water. The grant funding has enabled the expansion of their summer swim program with more than 80 children now taking part in the program in January 2018, which is also indirectly benefiting around 500 children, parents and carers from Homebush West and Auburn and other parts of western Sydney.

HARDA volunteer Fiona Carr highlighted the importance of educating children and parents within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities about water safety with many children participating in the program having never been exposed to the water.

“Now these children are living Australia, where we’re surrounded by water, if they don’t know how to swim they can get into trouble. By taking part in these classes, children learn to appreciate how much fun and how healthy swimming can be, while also becoming better swimmers and gaining vital life skills which allow them to integrate with others in the community and participate in water activities without fear.” Ms Carr said.

Skills for Life at Lilyfield Community Services Hub
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Sunnyfield is a member based, registered not-for-profit charity with over 65 years of experience delivering progressive and innovative person centred services to support people with intellectual disability in NSW and ACT.

In October 2017, WestConnex provided a grant to Sunnyfield to fund a range of additional kitchen and garden resources for their ‘Garden to Plate’ program and an interactive SMART Board.

The interactive smartboard and additional cooking and gardening tools will facilitate interactive group learning and allow non-verbal clients to communicate what they learn. Providing access to this type of innovative technology has opened up the channels for communication and supported clients to acquire foundational life skills.​​​​​​

This initiative aligns with WestConnex’s sustainability focus areas to improve educational outcomes and economic development. This initiative will assist in building practical skills, increasing independence and improving self-esteem.

"The SMART Board has been a huge hit with the clients, supporting them to communicate their personal choices via images and utilise the large blank canvas to draw and maintain cognitive skills by playing memory games."

Michael Gapps, Support Worker  

Community partnerships

WestConnex may partner with organisations, events or activities that are aligned with its values and objectives as outlined in our Sustainability Strategy. The focus of these partnerships is to support organisations that deliver programs which bring benefits to communities in western Sydney and support skills and education development. In line with this, WestConnex has partnered with the following:

WestConnex's ongoing partnership with the Wests Tigers has gone from strength to strength. It focuses on key areas of education, healthy living and grassroots.    

With the support of WestConnex, the Wests Tigers community program doubled in 2017, developing and delivering an additional 20 programs across their key areas, reaching over 100,000 people in western and south-west Sydney and making it the strongest community program in the NRL.

Wests Tigers and WestConnex

Varying Abilities program

As part of our community partnership with the Wests Tigers, we were able to help the club develop and launch the Varying Abilities anti-bullying program. The Wests Tigers recently received a significant Government grant to roll out the program to 20,000 people this year.

 

Wests Tigers sensory room

In a NRL first, the Wests Tigers have created a new sensory room at all home games, which is providing a safe, fun and comfortable space for children with autism and their families to enjoy the football.

WestConnex is proud to be a community partner of the Wests Tigers and support their efforts to offer an inclusive environment for western Sydney families.

Wests Tigers Sensory Room supported by WestConnex

Santa goes to south-west Sydney

WestConnex employees dressed up as elves and Santas to help the Wests Tigers players deliver presents and bring smiles to the kids staying in Liverpool Hospital and Campbelltown Hospital over Christmas 2017. All our employees said the experience was one of the most rewarding of their careers.

Wests Tigers and WestConnex at Liverpool Hospital

Wests Tigers and WestConnex at Campbelltown Hospital

Wests Tigers Disability Day

WestConnex employees volunteered at the second annual Wests Tigers Disability Day on Saturday 2 December 2017 at Michael Clarke Centre, Carnes Hill. The day provided insight for people of all ages and genders with a disability into the rigorous training schedule of a professional sports person and club. Everyone had the chance to pose for a photo with each of the players, take part in and watch various athletic drills, train to be a cheerleader and enjoy a sausage sizzle. 

 

Talking science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Engineers and construction employees from across the WestConnex project participated in the Wests Tigers career assemblies in December 2017. This was a unique opportunity to educate year 10 students about the various careers in STEM-related fields. 

WestConnex is working with the GWS GIANTS to expand its GIANTS Care program across western Sydney.

WestConnex is supporting the health, harmony, education and employment pillars, delivering positive outcomes for disadvantaged youth, community groups and local businesses.

GIANTS Care and WestConnex

GWS GIANTS fan day 2018

The GWS GIANTS held their annual fan day and WestConnex was proud to take part. Using VR goggles, fans were able to take a virtual tour of our tunnels currently under construction.

 

12-week men's health program

WestConnex was proud to present a 12-week men's health program from August to November 2017. Over 30 men lost a total of 480kgs!

 

Stand Tall program

WestConnex is proud to support the GIANTS' Stand Tall program that helps school students across western Sydney explore ways to overcome personal life obstacles, pave the way for positive behaviours and healthy relationships and build career aspirations. Students from Bankstown Girls High School visited the WestConnex Centre in June 2017.

WestConnex has partnered with KARI Foundation to establish the WestConnex Indigenous Driver Program as part of its commitment to deliver positive outcomes in the community. The aim is to empower Indigenous young people across South Western Sydney, giving them the opportunity to gain independence and full-time employment.

The program provides mentoring, education and assistance for disadvantaged Indigenous youth in South Western Sydney to obtain a Provisional Drivers Licence and be confident and safe drivers.

WestConnex Indigenous Driver Program

Young people in the program undertake group and individual training, be assisted by cultural and community mentors and have access to professional driving lessons. The WestConnex Indigenous Driver Program partnership will allow Indigenous youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in south-west Sydney to access the program free of charge.

263 Indigenous youth from south-west Sydney expressed interest in signing up to the first intake of the program. This included 32 young people attached to KARI’s Out of Home Care.

KARI Foundation has registered 75 young people from south-west Sydney into the official first intake of the WestConnex Indigenous Drivers program.

Candidate selection took into account social-economic situation, location, age, sex and ability to commit to the program. A waitlist for a future program with an engagement process has been deceived by the unsuccessful candidates to ensure once a position has become available they are still engaged with KARI.

Candidates have been broken into groups associated to location and ability to attend classes and driving school times. The groups have a staggered start date to ensure the availability of both mentors and the driver training school.

WestConnex has partnered with the Blue Datto Foundation to expand its ‘Keeping Safe’ road safety program, giving high school students from schools across western Sydney access to the award-winning program. 

Blue Datto was established following the death of 17-year-old Philip Vassallo in a crash in which both drivers were red ‘P’ platers in Penrith. Phil owned and drove a much-loved Blue Datto.

Blue Datto’s mission is to change the culture of young drivers by altering attitudes and behaviours. The Keeping Safe program is an industry-leading education program aimed at 15-17year old students. It encourages the beginning of road safety conversations with their families and peers at home, school, in their community and across social media.

Utilising data from the NSW Centre for Road Safety, the Blue Datto Foundation has identified that people from specific communities around the WestConnex corridor and Western Sydney have a higher than average risk of being involved with a Major or Serious Injury or Fatality on NSW Roads, just because of the location in which they live.

The Keeping Safe program specifically targets the ‘pre-driver’ demographic (15-17 years old), who are yet to establish behaviours and attitudes that can impact their safety in a negative way. Because of this, the program is primarily aimed at Year 10 and 11 students.

In the 2018-19 financial year, almost 2,000 students across the WestConnex corridor and western Sydney will have access to this critical program which is helping participants to improve their ability to problem solve and make decisions, particularly in risky situations they may be faced with.

Safety is one of our core values and with the WestConnex project supporting thousands of jobs in construction, we recognise importance of keeping everyone involved in the project healthy, happy and safe.

We know construction workers are at higher risk of suicide and are less likely to seek out professional help. That’s why we’re proud to be supporting MATES in Construction as an industry partner. The work MATES in Construction does is critical to providing the right awareness, support and research to improving mental health and reducing suicide within the industry.

We’ve rolled out MATES in Construction awareness training to our staff, helping our team to keep an eye out for their mates.

We are proud to partner with MATES in Construction to help save lives in the construction industry.

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