Words Create Worlds

by Gordon Griffiths

The murder of local shop owner Navtej Singh in 2008 was a catalyst that started a dialogue for change in Randwick Park, Manurewa. Randwick Park had reputation as a deprived neighbourhood with significant social issues. Often represented in the media as a crime ridden and dark place. The community had also internalised some of this discourse. What was unseen or unspoken was the good that was being done by committed people in the community. Tims (2016) said that “words shape worlds” and so they began to tell the stories of the good, of the heroes of Randwick Park.

This report firstly examines economic inequality, its cost, negative social and health outcomes which is unfairly paid by communities like Randwick Park, and its cause; the current neoliberal political economic policies.

The good news is that significant change has taken place within the community facilitated by Urban Neighbours of Hope. Urban Neighbours of Hope (UNOH) is committed to neighbourhood led community development using an appreciative inquiry approach that seeks to discover the hopes and dreams of the community. Then working with the strengths already within the community to see those dreams fulfilled. A number of interviews were held with Dave and Denise Tims, Urban Neighbours of Hope worker over a three week period to discover the strategies they used and how they communicated with the community and beyond. Theory has been applied to the communication strategies to assist in an analysis.

While this report focuses on UNOH, it is important to note that the success discussed in this report does not belong to UNOH. It has been achieved by collaboration with a number of other organisations and committed individuals with a passion for their community. These groups include the Randwick Park Residents Association, the Randwick Park Community House, Randwick Park Sports and Community trust, Southern initiative, and the support of the Local Board.

Download complete report here.