Members of the Hamilton South Community Solutions Group want change.
Gathering for their first 2021 meeting on Wednesday 17 February, more than 30 residents joined with an array of service providers, police and housing representatives to voice their concerns for their neighbourhood.
The group, who last met in December 2020, say they are frustrated with levels of crime within their community.
With police revealing 80% of incidents reported within the estate involved offenders from outside the area, locals are now banding together to create a positive future.
Meeting inside the Hamilton South Community Hall on Ogden Street, the mood was positive.
The group represents the 662 dwellings and more than 1,000 residents who live within the Hamilton South Estate.
Its vision for the future is: “A community that is safe for all residents, is a kind, quiet and compassionate community where all members of the community are positive, happy, drug-free and supportive of each other”.
While the area is infamous for its crime rate and negative publicity, the members remain buoyant, welcoming any help offered by support services.
Among those represented at the meeting were Samaritans, Awabakal, City of Newcastle, CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning, Livefree Project, Baptist Care, Newcastle Library, Newcastle City Ranger and TAFE NSW Newcastle.
Regular community kitchens, food banks, food deliveries, community events, pet food supplies, literary sessions, mental health support and youth engagement were among the projects discussed, with several service providers pledging their support.
A new logo, a published book and a celebration event were also discussed for the year ahead.
Hamilton South resident Janice Patterson, who runs the group’s social media pages, said she believed the meeting was a positive start.
“I can actually see change happening,” she said.
“The support is fantastic and I believe the future is looking positive.”