CORE Community Services History
In 1978, Ulla Bartels, a volunteer with the Fairfield Neighbourhood Centre, started running English classes for refugees from Indo-China. Soon the needs of the community surpassed her capacity and assistance was received from the Carramar Activity Group. Later, a group of volunteers formed a management committee and developed a constitution so they could apply for government funds. The group called itself the South-East Asian Community Assistance Centre (SEACA).
In 1980, SEACA was awarded its first grant of funds under the Western Sydney Area Assistance Scheme to employ a part time Coordinator.
Over the next few years, the organisation grew in size as it became involved in a wide range of services and issues and received funding for a social worker, bilingual welfare workers, a youth development officer and a part-time community worker to continue to work in the Carramar area.
The organisation also changed its name to Cabramatta Community Centre in recognition of the wide variety of cultural backgrounds of the people who accessed the Centre and lived in the area.
Under the name Cabramatta Community Centre, the organisation grew to employ over 250 staff within six key service areas: the Neighbourhood Centre, Cabramatta Youth Team, Fairfield Migrant Resource Centre, The Heights Community Services, Multicultural Community Care Services and Fairfield Area Home Modification and Maintenance Outreach Service.
In 2015 the organisation underwent a major internal and branding overhaul and became known as CORE Community Services. The new name encompasses the diversity of both the organisation’s target audience and the growth within South West Sydney – far expanding the reach of a Cabramatta identified non-profit.
Today, CORE Community Services has five key service areas which help not just culturally and linguistically diverse communities, but also the aged, people with a disability, youth and those facing financial disadvantage or hardship.
With a fresh perspective and new structure, CORE Community Services plans to continue delivering vital services to local people for many more years to come.