Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre

Kempsey South Community Project


In May 2019 Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre was successful in an application for a grant through Dept. of Communities and Justice as part of the place planning initiative.

This was a major achievement for our service. Since the grant period was eighteen months, we needed to hit the ground running – and we did.

Community 1;

The aim of place planning is to build community cohesion and connection in social housing communities through programs that are initiated by the community and also co designed by the community.

Some programs had already commenced, these programs were continued and expanded on.

We consulted extensively with the community and engaged community members and other agencies in developing programs to meet the needs of residents in social housing in west and south Kempsey.

Mathew Parr and Rachel Salmond were employed as community workers to facilitate the program, and Willy Thomson came on board in July 2020 to assist in the program.

A number of projects and activities developed as a result of this project and these are covered in the following pages.

As of December 2020 the funding for the program ended, however, we are hoping to continue aspects of the project as part of our neighbourhood center’s role and seek new funding to continue our programs.

Kempsey South is also available for other services to use and for community to access for support.

Bandawutu BBQ Burners Men’s Group (SKCC)

Mens BBQ;

Weekly Men’s BBQ’s with activities including Didgeridoo painting; karaoke; bicycle restoration; monthly fishing trips. A relaxing atmosphere is provided for men to come together and talk about health, social & community issues, healthy relationships and employment opportunities. Community Partners are invited along to provide accurate information regarding any issues concerning the group as well as what services are available to men in the Kempsey local area.

Make Mend and Grow

Craft 2;

Make, Mend and Grow developed from ideas and suggestions made by people attending cooking groups at Kempsey South Community Centre. People identified that that we would like to learn more about things like home repairs, making things for the home, making jams and preserves, cooking healthy food on a budget, repairing clothing and recycling.


Thursday Cooking and Crafts


This group was part of the original Place Planning activities and continued to go from strength to strength. Mathew obtained a karaoke machine and this has become a great way to raise confidence and have fun. The group crafts in the morning, cooks and eats a healthy lunch together and those who are brave enough entertain with some singing.


Comments from participants:

  • Loved learning how to make beautiful things
  • Everyone is so friendly
  • Lunch is always nice
  • Good to be with other people
  • Really good to learn how to fix things in the house
  • Didn’t know I could do stuff like this.
  • I learnt how to cook proper
  • Love the singing
  • So nice to eat with other people
  • I feel more confident
  • Learnt some great recipes
  • This is fun


South Kempsey Kid’s Group

This is an after school group for primary aged children that runs every Tuesday afternoon at South Kempsey Community Centre.


Activities have included:

  • Slime
  • Karaoke
  • Handball
  • Basketball
  • Painting
  • Mask making
  • Cooking
  • Running
  • Hopscotch
  • Playing



What the kids say:

  • “this is fun!”
  • “let’s make slime (again)”
  • “can we do this every time?”
  • “i’m hungry”




School Holiday Activities

School holidays can be a difficult time for families and kids. Throughout the school holidays many activities are planned and organised in partnership with other services to give our children and young people something to do.



Activities have included Family Fun Days, Breakfasts at the Skate Park and at South Kempsey Community Centre, Three on Three Basketball and craft and sport activities.

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Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre is a non-profit organisation dedicated to strengthening our local communities by promoting the principles of social justice and empowering people to enhance their quality of life.