Neighbourhood Nights @Epping Uniting Church
Last year, Epping Uniting Church ran the first Neighbourhood Nights series, a gathering that occasionally saw someone talking about specific topics. Then Andrew Miller, Epping Uniting Church Community Organiser, came on board to reinvent them with a more social justice focus.
Mr Miller has a banking background and decided to move towards the social justice world via volunteering in social organisations, always knowing he could do more. Then, he started in this position confident about the great opportunity it could be for him and the community. The first new Neighbourhood Night took place last September, and there is a monthly gathering a planned until the end of the year, discussing topics from sustainable and ethical fashion and goods to affordable housing and women’s empowerment.
There are so many social issues that people might have some knowledge or interest in, but it is difficult to find an appropriate place to dig a bit more. Neighbourhood Nights is an opportunity for people to discuss and learn from experts and other attendees. Events are open for everyone that wants to join, no matter what background, beliefs, or level of knowledge of the topic anyone has. It is an opportunity to learn, share, and discuss.
Zero waste, asylum seekers and forced labour, are some of the topics that they plan to discuss in future gatherings. It is a good way of, not only getting involved with the community but making the community part of current issues. Involvement is also achieved by using organisations that are aligned with other churches in the area such as the Catholic, Anglican and Baptist among others, and making these churches come along as well.
Up to now, he expects that the number of attendees exponentially grow as events are advertised only on social media and with colleague’s networks. These events are open to everyone that has an interest in these topics, particularly people from the church.
The next Neighbourhood Night on Friday, 18 October will discuss Modern Slavery and the Introduction of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. The event runs from 7pm until 9pm with a key speaker, Q&A, informal discussion and supper included at Epping Uniting Church.
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