Media release | 25 June 2022
The NSW Government has secured the future of Inner West icon - the Addison Road Community Centre following an investment to upgrade the heritage-listed building’s facilities.
Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the 3.6 hectare heritage-listed facility in Marrickville is a prime example of how Crown land supports community infrastructure that is vital for not-for-profit organisations.
“Our $982,000 investment is allowing ‘Addi Road’ to upgrade its fire safety, so all its amazing activities can continue. From its volunteers who pack charity food hampers to the 41 organisations that use the centre, providing community services ranging from childcare, elderly, migrant and disability,” Mr Anderson said.
“Addison Road is a hive of activity, where volunteers do everything from pack donated food that’s sent to every corner of the state, to rescuing animals, counselling youth and helping refugees open their own business.”
There are more than 289 staff members across the not-for-profits operating on the site, together with more than 1,640 volunteers who assist 330,000 people each year. The Martial Arts classes attract 990 kids and adults a week and the markets draw in 10,000 people every weekend. Radio Skid Row, Marrickville Legal Centre, Ethnic Community Services and 48 artists and writers in-residence are all based at the site.
Addison Road Community Organisation CEO Rosanna Barbero said Crown Reserve Improvement Fund grants are supporting fire safety upgrades to 35 buildings, including extinguishers, smoke detectors, emergency lighting, exit signs and upgrades to doors and handrails.
“When I heard we needed the upgrade to stay open it aged me about 10 years as we didn’t have the resources to do it, so this has been a real lifeline,” Ms Barbero said.
The organisation has high-profile supporters including former Socceroo Craig Foster, Bryan Brown, Annabel Crabb, Andrew Denton and Sonny Bill Williams, but Ms Barbero said the secret of its success is how it listens to the communities it serves.
Addison Road community centre redistributes food donated by supermarkets and wholesalers and in the past year assisted 280,000 people with food and essentials, packed 68,000 hampers and rescued 350 tonnes of food from landfill. The NSW Government has funded an electric van for the centre to deliver food.
It continues to support Northern Rivers flood victims, including with 2.7 tonnes of food cans donated by spectators at Sydney Swans matches, and ingredients supplied to Turbans4Australia to cook food in Lismore for people without kitchens. Buckets, disinfectant, sponges and scourers have also been donated.