In response to the significant social and economic challenges facing Sydney's West, Western Sydney University has re-launched its Centre for Western Sydney - an innovative research, policy and advocacy hub, that in partnership with community, industry and government, will address the pressing issues of one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.
The Centre’s incoming Director Dr Andy Marks, who is also the University’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor, said the reinvigorated Centre is a significant step towards acknowledging the complexities and diversities of Western Sydney and finding solutions to a range of issues, including climate change, employment, education and infrastructure.
“Many areas of Western Sydney are particularly exposed to the impact of the current recession, due to pre-existing inequities compared to the rest of Greater Sydney. Access to employment, education, health services, transport and digital connectivity remains fragmented for a great number of people in the West. Those challenges have been compounded in recent months,” said Dr Marks.
“The scale of the challenge requires a renewed approach. The Centre will deliver solutions-orientated change through quality research and advocacy. Undertaken by leading experts from a range of fields, the Centre’s work will promote the lived experiences of the people and communities of this region.”
Originally launched in 2014, the new Centre for Western Sydney will bring together the University’s unique research insights on the Western Sydney region, and champion collaborative and cross disciplinary research and advocacy for the region and its people.
The Centre will produce long and short form analysis, commentary and policy engagement on issues of importance to the West, including a regular ‘Western Sydney Report Card’ evaluation of the performance of governments across eight key areas of the region’s development; specifically: education, health, housing, transport, digital, culture, social and economic.
“Western Sydney is experiencing rapid development and population growth. As the nation’s third largest economy and its most intensely contested political landscape, the West is often talked about, but rarely is it actually listened to. The Centre seeks to change that, through meaningful dialogue, high-quality research, genuine collaboration and committed advocacy,” said Dr Marks.