Posted: 08 Nov. 2015 2 min. read

Western Sydney

Not-for-profits and shaping a future for everyone

You’ve heard the news, Western Sydney is about to undertake significant growth, driven by infrastructure investment like the proposed Badgery’s Creek airport.

It is a coming of age for the region and  I am excited about the opportunities for Western Sydney and its economy.

As Western Sydney shapes its future and its identity, there is a tendency to focus on the numbers, the opportunity for economic growth and achievement, inflow of talent, investment and attractiveness of the region. These are all important, but they are not the region’s soul – the soul of a region is its people.

In my professional life, I am entrenched in numbers, so you might expect a narrative around graphs and figures. However, what I want to talk about goes beyond quantitative data to the actual community, it’s people, and how the not for profit (NFP) sector in particular can play a critical and fundamental role in shaping the success of our region.

We live and work in a place that has its challenges, including the misperception that a Western Sydney success story means moving to the city or overseas – our modern day equivalent of the 1970s cultural cringe. This is where I see the opportunity for the NFP sector to contribute significantly to the discussion and shaping of our region.

Over the past few years, the NFP sector has experienced significant reforms and changes. Alternations to funding models and increased regulation, such as the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, have resulted in change fatigue, not to mention the talk around the need for NFPs to merge and amalgamate.

In this environment, the challenge to help support and shape the region may be a call to arms that many feel is the sole role of government and business. Yet I am pleased to see that many NFPs in Western Sydney are starting to work together on how they can influence this discussion and create success in the region through shared strategy and vision.

For those of you yet to turn your mind to this, I’d like to pose three questions to get you started:

  • Not-for-profits connect local communities, influencing and shaping the perceptions of many in Western Sydney – How can the region leverage these relationships and develop initiatives to support the community?
  • How can your organisation tap into the collaboration and connectedness coming from the discussions in the region?
  • Are we developing young people with the skills needed in five, ten or fifteen years, or are we focused on the traditional job roles for those who are socially disadvantaged?

Answering these questions can get you involved in the conversation, so you too can shape our region, where every single person has the opportunity to be part of its success.

More about the author

Kate Daly

Kate Daly

Partner, Deloitte Private

Kate has been practising for more than 20 years, focusing on providing business advisory services to small to medium sized business and also providing advice to medium to large not-for-profit organisations. Her experience focuses on assisting clients with practical tax and commerical advice on a range of transactions and business growth strategies including structuring advice.