The Illawarra has a long history of active groups that have helped support and grow our community over the past years and decades.

However, recently some of these groups have begun to struggle. With this in mind, one of the actions to come out of the recent UNITY AGM was to hold a forum to discuss the role of local groups, their current direction and what the future holds.

Facilitated discussions at the forum will cover our community as it was and is — building a picture of who we are; what needs and challenges can we identify and how we approach them as groups; what forms do groups take and their relevance; other topics identified by those present on the day.

Groups will be invited to send their representatives to the forum. If your voice should be among them, please get in touch with your local community group and make sure your views are represented.

Throughout these discussions, it is hoped we can build a better picture of our community as it exists today and get ideas about ways to encourage more community involvement, new possibilities for events, new directions and approaches for existing groups to work together.

We are not just looking for representatives of community groups, but also people who are involved in informal social groups who are sure to have valuable input into how the more formal groups can work for them in the current community environment.

If you, or someone you know, would like to have input into these discussions, please contact the ACON Illawarra office on 4226 1163 for more information.

The forum will be held Saturday, May 22 from 1-3pm at the ACON Illawarra Community Space.

For more information about groups, services or organisations in the Southern Region, contact ACON on 4226 1163 or email

Trevor Slattery is the Education and Community Development Officer at ACON’s Illawarra branch.

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