Auburn Local Government area is located 20 kilometers in the west of the Sydney Central Business District. It covers an area of 31 KM2. Its boundaries include “Parramatta Road and Duck River in the north and west, Homebush Bay and Powell’s Creek to the east and the Sydney Water Supply Line to the South” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.1).
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Auburn has common boundaries with other local government areas which include Parramatta, Concord, Bankstown, and Strathfield and encompasses the suburbs of “Auburn, Berala, Homebush Bay, Lidcombe, Newington, Regents Park, Rookwood and Silverwater” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.1). [Map is found in the Appendix].
Auburn’s population as at 30 June 2009 was 76, 519 persons. Out of this population, there are 39,763 male people and 36,756 females (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010). This region has been experiencing a high population growth, especially in the course of the last ten years.
It is pointed out that, “as an older, well-established area, Auburn’s population has increased due to substantial development in the suburbs of Newington and Homebush Bay as well as the redevelopment of areas such as Regents Park with increasing residential densities” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.1).
It is projected that by the year 2021, Auburn’s population will be approximately 92,523 people and this follows the expectations that the population growth rate per year will stand at 1.4 percent. In the contrary, the population growth rate of Sydney is projected to be 0.9 percent per year (Auburn Council, 2009).
The Auburn Local Government Area goes on to be among the LGAs that are most “culturally diverse” in Australia. It has the largest number of people who are “overseas born” as compared to the rest of Local Government Areas in NSW. Basing on the 2006 census, it was found out that about 53 percent of the inhabitants were born out of the country and originated from over one hundred nations.
Among these nations, the first ten include; ‘China, Turkey, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Vietnam, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.2). It was also found out that over 66 percent of the residents communicated using another language other than the English language at home.
The other languages that were found to be spoken include “Arabic (11.1%), Cantonese (10.1%), Turkish (6.7%), Mandarin (6.6%), and Korean (3%)”(Auburn Council, 2009).
Cultural diversity and differences such as growth and change can be, as pointed out, “sources of energy and creativity in a local community and many local residents perceive diversity as a strength, pointing to the lack of overt racism or ethnocultural conflict in the area” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.6).
But diversity and difference are as well a burden to a local population. In specific terms, in a situation where the differences are big and are not intervened by the economic and social conditions that are shared, or shared culture, education, or language, there is a great danger that “difference and diversity become the source of misunderstanding, mistrust and resentment” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.6).
To a particular level, the culture of Auburn is considered as fragmented and this is because of the arrival and settlement history of the area and also because of the area’s numerous disadvantage concentrations. This is also because of the cultural background diversity of the inhabitants. Big gaps as well as differences can build up “social boundaries of exclusion, stigmatization and disrespect” (Auburn, 2009, p.6).
Each and every one of these has grave health consequences and the ability to seriously “undermine the social wellbeing of Auburn, affecting all residents, not just those in the more disadvantaged circumstances” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.6).
The Auburn Local Area population derives benefits from the “cooperative networks” as well as from “dense social ties” within the community (Auburn City Council, 2009). This area has a stable network of non-profit cultural organizations as well as community and civic organizations.
There are more than one hundred and seventy groups and these includes; “playgrounds, rotary clubs, youth centers, inter-agencies and groups such as writers, poets, artists and historical societies” (Auburn City Council, 2009, p.8). About 76 percent of these groups do have a strong ‘volunteer element’.
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These groups offer voluntary support to established as well as new communities to a remarkable level and also help in the “work of funded mainstream services” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.7).
The Auburn Local area council has recognition that a “personal approach” is very effectual way of making sure that there is the broadest contact as well as involvement of the entire community sectors. The high voluntary cultural activity level is a significant asset which is well engaged by the local area council to ensure improvement in the level of effectiveness and also access a bigger audience.
It has set up all-inclusive networks and mainly carries out its operations intimately with the leaders in the community as well as the community workers in order to ensure there is information dissemination to the community groups within the locality.
It is pointed out that “festivals and events are a regular feature of Auburn’s cultural calendar, which provides additional opportunities for engagement with community members” (Auburn City Council, 2009, p.8).
In general, there is uneven provision of community facilities in the Auburn Local Government Area. These facilities include libraries, the child care facilities as well as community halls among others. These bring in shortfalls that are supposed to be looked at.
In more specific terms, there is a crucial need for, as pointed out, “meeting rooms, multipurpose halls, cultural facilities and office space which are available, accessible and affordable” (Auburn City Council, 2009, p.7).
The offering of committed facilities for cultural programs delivery encompassing arts as well as educational activities is in limitation throughout the Auburn Local Government Area. A large number of venues in Auburn are designed to serve various purposes and there is sharing of these venues with a variety of users.
In a large number of instances, these facilities offer amenity which is under limitation and this encompass small kitchen provision or no such provision, and available public toilet.
The cultural plan of the council recognizes in regard to the future that “access to facilities that provide opportunities for lifelong learning and creative arts skills development and appreciation are important in fostering community cohesion and community understanding” (Auburn Council, 2009, p.7).
Auburn City Council, (2009). Community engagement strategy, 2010. Web.
Auburn Council, (2009). About the Auburn Local Government Area (LGA). Web.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, (2010). Web.
Map: Auburn and the surrounding areas
Source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Bethesda, MD, USA. Web.