The following address was given by Father Dave to Marrickville Council on May 13th, 2014, in support of the Development Application of Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill for a new hall complex.
The old hall, which was originally a church building and later became the Youth and Community Centre, was burnt down in an arson attack in April 2013. Now plans are in place for the rebuilding.
Following the address Marrickville Council voted unanimously, not only to pass the DA but also to waive the normal Council fees of nearly $18,000.
Thank you, Marrickville Council! 🙂
Address to Council in support of Holy Trinity Hall DA – May 13th, 2014
Madame Mayor, respected Councillors, friends:
It is my privilege to stand before Council today to recommend to you our development application for the rebuilding of the community hall complex of Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill.
I assume that the history of both the church and the hall are well known to most of you. Even so, let me make a few points in outline:
Since the founding of the church in 1886 our community has demonstrated a strong and ongoing commitment to the broader community and in particular to young people within (and beyond) our parish boundaries.
Perhaps the most obvious legacy of the church to the community in this regards was the establishment of Trinity Grammar School, founded by my predecessor, the Reverend George Chambers, in 1913, with classes originally being held on the church premises!
That same commitment to the community has been evident in the time I have been in Dulwich Hill (which is coming on 24 years now). We founded Father Dave’s Fight Club in 1991 and started using the hall as a youth drop-in centre that same year. Trinity’s Youth Centre went full time in 1994 and has been functioning as a youth drop-in centre ever since – its primary goal being to provide a safe place for young people after school.
This work has always been carried on in close cooperation with Council. We have worked alongside Council staff, have accepted Council grants and (over the last 20+ years) have had any number of Councillors directly involved in helping us with our fundraising activities.
All of you, I am sure, will remember the arson attack we suffered in April of last year at the hands of one of our disgruntled clients (whom we haven’t seen since). The attack was tragic indeed. Even so, it was a dark cloud with multiple silver linings. Most significantly nobody was killed or injured by the attack and damage to surrounding property was minimal. Further, while the fire resulted in the complete destruction of the old hall complex this has made possible the current redevelopment that awaits your approval – a dedicated youth and community facility that I trust will serve both the young and old of Dulwich Hill and the broader Marrickville municipality for many years to come!
As in the past, so we hope to work hand-in-hand with Council as we develop our community work through this new facility. Most obviously, we look to you to support our development application. Beyond that though we also wish to put before you today a request that you might waive the required contribution of just under $18,000 – ‘Condition 19’ in the Development Application.
The arguments in favour of exempting us from that contribution are well outlined in the letter you’ve already received from the church wardens and myself, which I’m sure you have already read. In addition to the considerations mentioned there I would only add that if you can’t exempt us at this point we’ll be looking to you to help us find the money further down the track anyway!
As things stand we are anticipating that we will need to fundraise perhaps another $100,000 to fully complete this project. I appreciate that $100,000 and $118,000 don’t sound like vastly different as targets but please keep in mind that most of the money I’ve raised over the last 24 years has been through me getting myself beaten up in boxing promotions, and I’m guessing that there may be quite a few bruises in that extra $18,000. I would therefore be personally very grateful if the Council would exercise grace towards us on this point.
Let me close by thanking Council for the support you have given Holy Trinity Church and our youth work in particular over the years. It has been a wonderful and cooperative relationship through which I believe we have truly made a difference in the lives of many in our community. I trust and pray that we will continue to make a difference together for years to come.