54. 2012 – Woo’loo Rising

But I don’t want to go among mad people, Alice remarked. 


1. Woolloomooloo Rising
2. Cheers – George
3. HSUC and Anor

1. Woolloomooloo Rising

25.06.10 – Duncan McFarland [06.52 Minutes]

16.03.11 – Carole Anne

GROUNDSWELL – giving voice to the concerns of the community so let’s keep the Government accountable to their promise to address homelessness.

Be a part of leading the way to solving homelessness in Woolloomooloo – join in at the Backshed Cafe (Tom Uren Place) this Thursday 17th March at 3.30pm till 5pm

All welcome – or speak to Sage on 0406 983013


02.04.11 – AB

Please accept my apology for my sudden disappearance. 

The last two weeks were very intensive, hectic and stressful and just few days ago I was able to put credit on my mobile.   

I hope that you will accept my apology as I am fully respect your time, intentions and the work that your are doing.

Thanks, amir

02.04.11 – Carl

No problem Amir

you are welcome to attend from 10:30am – 2:30pm wednesdays to scan your work, and if you need an appointment I can make one for you at 9:45am wednesday if you phone to confirm at least a day ahead. I did get your phone message but have been too busy to return it at this stage.


06.05.11 – Sage

Hey Amir

Here is some of the background work and thinking of the group from previous sessions. Hope it makes a little bit of sense….

Sage Saegenschnitter
Homeless Support Coordinator




08.05.11 – AB

Hi Sage,

I didn’t have yesterday the opportunity to share with you my idea regarding the name (too much Shakespeare language), so here it is:

Touch Down

and push up!

See you soon, Amir

10.05.11 – Sage

Yeah, I was looking for you but everyone dispersed quite quickly.

I like it. Would be great if you could share it with the group on Thursday



13.05.11 – Sage

Here is the summary of what I captured from our Thursday Gathering.

I’ve also included the identity statements as an attachment

To help reflect: it might be helpful to look at each statement and identify what is good about it, or what resonates with you. And also identify what words or phrases you don’t like, or don’t seem clear: also try to understand why you think one phrase might be better than another. i.e recognise rights or enjoy rights – why might you choose one or the other? Or is there a better word altogether? This way we can critically analyse each statement, and hopefully ensure that we communicate our message in the clearest possible way.

Thanks guys

Sage Saegenschnitter
Homeless Support Coordinator


19.05.11 – Carl

Thursday afternoon Homeless “in-action” group


I had to leave the group at Hope Street Artspace this afternoon shortly after you left because George took it upon himself to dictate to me about what I could and could not say with his offensive statement to me “be careful what you say” after another group member pilloried me of expecting “corporate” performance from this group (as if since this group failed in all aspects of corporate protocol except minuting) when I objected to Carlin’s attempt to spend meeting time by edifying the review of anecdotal research materials to a formal pre-meeting session to “ensure” adherence to the visions of the group by suggesting that I did not have the time to engage in “feel-good sharing” and when I suggested to do this review by email and across informal coffee before and after the meetings and focus meeting time on positive actions rather than time consuming talk.

Clearly this group have more to learn than I am prepared to tolerate as they have no idea about group inclusion and even less capacity to act on their vagueness, doing nothing more than engaging in excessive and de-motivating talk to address matters needing direct action and then applying their bigotry to anyone who disagrees. It seems that this group is quite happy to talk the talk about high ideals about their selected topics without extending these ideals to participants of the group who disagree with their self-satisfying opinions.

I will not now or ever have my free speech curtailed, especially by people who appear to be incapable of more than cosy and insular “talk-fests with cake” under the guise of “community work” as it is this very attitude of conflating “community work” into an excuse for ineptitude, bigotry and inaction that ensures that nothing is ever done, but always talked about!

Thank you for your invitation to join this group, but I prefer to spend my time with people who have the honesty to apply their own rules to themselves first!


19.05.11 – Sage


Your honest opinions are duly noted, and I wish you well in finding ways to pursue action in a way that satisfies your time and desires.


20.05.11 – Sage

Hey Amir, I’d be happy to talk to you about what happened with Carl towards the end of the meeting yesterday afternoon…. I think all of us felt some responsibility that provoked his response – George, Oli and I all reacted to the way he was speaking and couldn’t let it continue.

26.05.11 – Sage

Here are my notes: hmm I’m not the best at this

Yay for having a name!!!



08.06.11 – AB

Hi Carl,

I had buzzed your intercom at 9.40 am and again at 1pm. I hope that every thing is OK.

Thanks, Amir

08.06.11 – Carl

I am in Canberra all week, see you next week on Wednesday

09.06.11 – Sage

Thanks Team

Can everyone please read over the notes from today’s session and think about the questions for a survey.

We also want to have a bit of a preamble – explaining who we are and why we want to gather this info.

I have also included the draft of the letter I sent to Pru Goward. I wrote it more just on behalf of myself rather than Woolloomooloo Uprising.  If you would like to draft a letter saying something similar that would be great. Her address is:

Ms Pru Goward, MP
Level 34 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place

Let me know if you send one because we want to keep track of letters sent.



16.06.11 – Sage

Thanks everyone for your contribution on Thursday.

Helen, it was lovely to have you back

Robyn, Vicki, Sue – we missed you and hope you are doing ok.

We nutted out everything except the name…

Here it is attached…


16.06.11 – Carlyn

Hi all,

Below I’ve pasted in some criteria we used to use at my old campaigning job (focused on international poverty issues) to decide on what issues we would take up.

You might like to have a read – W’loo Rising is still only small so don’t need to have something quite so comprehensive, but it might be worth us having a few questions that we ask ourselves to “filter” the many different issues we could take on regarding homelessness in Woolloomooloo. This way we can decide what are the important things to focus on and not get overwhelmed.

As you are reading it, note that it is a national organisation with international links and looking at international issues, but there might be some ideas about how we can create a filter for ourselves in regard to our local issues in Woolloomooloo.

There are some things we will try to tackle that will have short term wins – eg doors on toilets at the Talbot, and there may be hundreds of these to tackle. But there will also be longer term, bigger issues that will take longer to see any change, as well as more perseverance, so we may need to think about which ‘bigger’ battles are the priority to take on.




Criteria for Selecting Campaigns

These criteria are designed to assist TEAR Australia when selecting the Campaigns Focus and Advocacy Priorities.

The criteria have been categorised into three areas.A] Impact.  Questions looking at the strength of moral imperative, the potential benefit of policy change and the likelihood of effective alliances.

B] Communication. Questions looking at the ease that this issue can be communicated to supporters and the likelihood that it will inspire supporters to passionate action.

C] Targeting. Questions that assess the capacity for TEAR Australia and allies to clearly target and influence relevant decision makers.  As well as ability to access research needed for credible policy work. 


16.06.11 – Carlyn

Hey all,

here is our new email address!!


To access it, go to www.gmail.com
Password is: sheeploocowloo

17.06.11 – Sage

Good gathering today.

Worked on the questions for the survey


17.06.11 – Sage

Hey team. Just realised that I won’t be at the meeting next week because I will be attending a Conference.
George are you able to arrange access to the ArtSpace?
Carlyn, would you be able to take your computer along for note taking?

Sage Saegenschnitter
Homeless Support Coordinator

17.06.11 – Carlyn

Hi all,

Sure thing, will bring my laptop


28.06.11 – Carlyn

Hi all,

sorry these are late – hope it still gives people time to pilot the survey before Thursday’s meeting!

George/Sage, are you able to arrange copies of the survey for people to pick up from you from the Back Shed?



05.07.11 – AB

Dear Carl, 

I am really sorry about last week. There are times that I am collapsing under the stress, both mentally and phonically. I do appreciate your time and help and I hope that you still have the willingness to provide me with your assistance. I will be at your place tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1.45pm with a Coffee, unless you will let me know otherwise. 

Many thanks, Amir 

05.07.11 – Carl

Re: Confirmation

2:30pm would be better Amir as I have a student already booked at 1:45

05.07.11 – Carole Anne

Hi all……….I have a suggestion……….I think we should consider meeting fortnightly instead of weekly – it’s winter and we all have an exceptional amount of work going on.

I’d would be interested to know how everyone else feels.


06.07.11 – Carlyn

Hi Carole Anne,

Yes I think that is a good idea, I’ve been thinking about that too. Fortnightly would be better for me and think as volunteers it is more realistic to have a bit longer between meetings to have time to do the actions from meetings. Would we meet tomorrow or wait until next week?


06.07.11 – Sage

We can make it next week if that is better for people.

06.07.11 – George

Hi folks,

Next week is better for me as well.


06.07.11 – Sage

Ok, we will not meet this week. And will make our next meeting July 14th.

06.07.11 – Carlyn

ok great thanks – Carole Ann will you let us know if we are able to meet at Mary MacDonald on 14th? Thanks heaps!

06.07.11 – Sage

We are back to where we started with Mary Mac- Me following up with Vicki Skarlotas. So not too confident…

06.07.11 – George

Hi Amir,

Sorry I didn’t connect with you yesterday (Tuesday)

I have misplaced your phone number.

Hopefully I will see you today,

George Vlamakis

2. Cheers – George

06.07.11 – Sue

I won’t be in Sydney next week, so I won’t be able to make the meeting on the 14th but thanks for letting me know. Hope to see you all on Saturday.

06.07.11 – Carole Anne

Ummmmmm who takes over from Vicky while she is on leave??? Hall hire doesn’t come to a stand still for weeks on end – perhaps Beth can answer……..honestly……we need to badger these people and if unsatisfactory that’s why we have Councillors……how frustrating……..CA

15.07.11 – Sage

Hey everyone,

here are the minutes from the last two meetings. 

Next meeting will be 28th July.




01.08.11 – Carlyn

Hi all,

I’m sorry, I think I may have to give my apologies for tomorrow’s meeting. Census and other work is currently swallowing me up. I’ll see how I go tomorrow with getting everything done, but if I’m not there, just letting you know why.

I spoke to my friend Dave Andrews in Brisbane who does great stuff with their community. They operate on consensus. I asked him how it works when someone disagrees or comes with their own agenda. He said they then use consent – that is, saying to the person disagreeing that the group has heard their point of view and will record it, but recognising that the group needs to move forward with a decision and asking for their consent to go ahead with making the decision that the rest of the group agrees with.

He said they have never had a problem with this and have always been able to move forward through an issue this way.

When I asked what they do if someone comes with their own agenda for the group, trying to take over or control things, and how they decide on membership in the group. He said that early on, the group decided on some guidelines on how they agree to relate to each other in the group, and the whole group is responsible for keeping each other accountable to this. Membership in the group means agreeing to to these guidelines (as well as our vision etc) If anyone violates this, then the group has the right to challenge them and draw them to account to these guidelines and remind them that being part of the group means keeping to these. If the person is not happy with keeping to these guidelines, then they may self-select themselves out, or the group has the right to ask them to leave.

I like these models rather than a percentage/majority vote, and rather than voting people in our out. I think that the models that Dave described is a more adult way of relating to each other that requires more maturity from us all – we’ll get more skilled in listening and negotiating with each other and taking responsibility for ourselves and the group – and I think we are capable of this! I think it is more respectful of everyone and I’d like us go down this kind of track.

Does that make sense?

Anyway that’s my two cents worth if you do get to discuss this matter tomorrow and I’m not there.

Below is the story I shared last time from Dave Andrews and the Waiters’ Union in West End in Brisbane. Enjoy! Would love to know about other stories or inspiration that other people come across…

Some time back, the landlords in our neighborhood went into a frenzy of jacking up their rents. The vulnerable people in our locality, who were dependent on the availability of cheap rental accommodation for their survival, were beside themselves with worry. A number of community meetings were called to come up with a plan to solve the problem. One suggestion was guerrilla warfare led by chainsaw-wielding storm troopers, who would cut the power brokers off at the knees!The idea brought about an avalanche of applause. But after it was over, everyone acknowledged the prospect was repugnant. I sat there trying to think of an approach that would be acceptable both to Christ and the community. Eventually an idea came to me, and I got to my feet and strode to the front of the meeting. ‘I feel I need to go on a hunger strike. To fight against the greed that’s wrecking our community. And to fight for the rights of everyone in our community, whether they are rich or poor, to have affordable access to secure tenancy.’ People clapped. So I continued to speak. ‘I’m not going to break my fast until fifty landlords promise not to increase their rents by more than ten per cent, fifty tenants promise to support responsible landlords and expose irresponsible landlords, and fifty residents promise to help landlords and tenants negotiate a just settlement of this dispute by publicly commending those who do and publicly condemning those who don’t!’ People cheered. So the plan was carried. After the meeting a young man called Steve Haynes came up to us and spoke to us about the plan. Steve said he liked the plan because it was active, it addressed the issues for all the parties in the dispute, and it called upon the factions in our community to fight together for a common cause. We said we would be glad if Steve could join us in putting the plan into action. So Steve signed on for the campaign. Each day a few people would join me on my hunger strike in Boundary Street, collecting signatures of landlords, tenants and residents who promised to help us to solve the rental problem in West End. One landlord agreed not to raise his rents at all. Another landlord, responding to an appeal by his tenants over the matter of a raise in rent imposed by a real estate agent, fired the real estate agent and fixed the rent back at the original rate. Yet another owner, upon discovering that his tenants were going through a tough time financially, actually reduced the rent tor a period of time. All these landlords were presented with bunches of flowers to commend them for their sense of responsibility. The presentations took place on national television to encourage them, and others like them, to continue to act as responsible citizens in our community. Steve was amazed that we had been able to get so many landlords on our side, and was amused with our tactics for keeping them there. We talked with Steve about how the line dividing good and evil runs not between classes, such as landlords and tenants; but right down the middle of every individual: landlords, tenants, the residents everyone. We talked about the potential that all of us, landlords as well as tenants, have to respond to the challenge to renounce evil and embrace good. However, not everybody responded well to the challenge of renouncing the evil of capitalism and embracing the good of the community. One landlord in particular proved to be totally ruthless in his pursuit of a profit. Apparently, he beat up his tenant, a woman by the name of Kimberly Williams, who could not pay the inordinate rent he demanded; then, he literally threw her down the stairs, in his haste to get her out of his flat as fast as he could. Ange and I went to talk with Kimberly. We listened to the story and were convinced of its veracity. We assured her of our support, and became firm friends. Ange and I then went to talk with the landlord. He was not interested at all in anything we had to say. He told us he had the right to run his business in any way he wanted. We tried to suggest that he had the right to run his business any way he wanted to as long as he did not infringe the rights of others to safety and security. He told us we had no right to call him to account since he was only accountable to himself, his family and his bank balance. When we challenged that, he told us to get out, and threatened to kill us if we ever came back. As far as he was concerned, we had become mortal enemies. Because we were afraid, we felt like backing off. But we felt constrained to be faithful to the cause, in spite of the death threat hanging over our heads.  So we organised a group of residents, to camp on the door step of the recalcitrant landlord, to bring home to him the reality of the homelessness that his callousness was causing. While we were there, we discussed the issues with the landlord, his family, and his neighbors. But while some of his neighbors were very supportive, and some of his family were very sympathetic, the landlord was totally unwilling to negotiate. Eventually we took him to court on a charge of the assault he had committed against Kimberly. When he was found guilty we requested the judge to give him six months community work with us as a sentence, in the hope that we could sort things out by serving the community together. The landlord never did figure us out, and was furious with us till the day he died. After nine days we had the backing of fifty landlords who promised not to increase their rents by more than ten per cent, fifty tenants who would support responsible landlords and expose irresponsible landlords, and fifty residents who would help landlords and tenants negotiate a just settlement of the dispute. These people not only did a great deal themselves, but also put pressure on various levels of government to do a lot more. We were therefore able to organised a series of community consultations that became the most comprehensive process in town planning the Brisbane City Council had ever engaged in. As a result, affordable accommodation was put back on the agenda for our area. So on the tenth day, we broke our fast with diner kebabs at a local Lebanese restaurant.
Excerpt from Christi-Anarchy by Dave Andrews

02.08.11 – Carole Anne

Hi all…..I can’t top Carlyn’s story but found this very humbling………….

Hi all……yes the Census is all time consuming for the majority of us but in away it is connected so lets set date now for Thursday 18/8/2011……CA

02.08.11 – Carlyn

that sounds good to me

02.08.11 – Sage


That’s great. I’ll be in a much better space to focus then.


02.08.11 – George

Suits me too

05.08.11 – Sage

Hey Carole Ann, this is not the Common Ground Project in Camperdown, this is something else entirely…much more like the style of Sam Tsemberis I think.

Maybe I will write to Pru and ask for details…

28.08.11 – Carole Anne

Hi all   
I have today found and photographed 13 Housing properties vacant in W’loo and I dare say this is only the tip of the ice berg – I need your help to find others.  
Housing need to be made more accountable for the length of time it takes to place new tenants or tranfer some of our elderly struggling with stairs.

I would appreciate it, if you know of any vacant properities,  send me address/es and if known, length of time they have been vacant.

Thank you……..CA

31.08.11 – Carole Anne

Are we meeting Thurs 1/9/2011????????

02.09.11 – Carole Anne

Community Meeting 6.30pm Tuesday 6/9/2011

Yes…….next Tuesday @ Mary MacDonald Activity Centre


06.09.11 – Sage

Ok team,

Wondering where people are at in their thinking with Woolloomooloo Rising…

After having had a break for a while, I am feeling a little lost in terms of having a sense of purpose and goals for this group? Have we become so broad that we don’t know what we are aiming for?

Are people already overstretched with other commitments?

Would you guys be happy to jot down a few notes about how you are feeling about things, or ideas in how you might like to proceed? Then we can arrange to meet again if that is suitable.


07.09.11 – Carlyn

Hi all,

I’m really sorry but I don’t think I can commit to Woolloomooloo Rising meetings for the remainder of the year. I’m going to be away for about a 6-7 week stretch, and just have too many bits and pieces in my life at the moment to juggle, and wouldn’t be able to contribute meaningfully if I still came – I’m afraid don’t have the headspace in between meetings at the moment to do work for the group. I’ll reassess how I’m going when I get back from travels in December and let you know. Sorry to let the group down like this at the moment. I think there is wonderful potential for the group, and look forward to reconnecting with what is happening in a little while.

I will create a spreadsheet with the results from our surveys and make it a Google doc so everyone can access it at least. I’ll try to do this within the next couple of weeks.


07.09.11 – George

Hi Sage,

My feeling is that Woolloomooloo Rising got way too bogged down on discussions and debates about processes and power structures, which felt tedious and cumbersome and moved us away from our original intention.

The original intention of the group as I understood it, was to be an advocacy group for and with local homeless people in the area.

We seemed to lack a sense of project.

I would still be willing to be part of the group, but would be unable to commit to more than fortnightly meetings.

I would also value a greater sense of project. I feel that an emphasis on specific, time limited projects would give the group greater focus and productivity.

Cheers  – George 

3. HSUC and Anor

07.09.11 – Carole Anne

Hi all……

Formality and protocol don’t much matter if we haven’t got goals – things have and are changing with the homeless and we need to keep pace………can we take guidance from others at this point in time? Council, Police, Agencies? In the meantime can we bung on a BBQ and ask the homeless – apart from being housed – what are their currents needs, rights, responsibilities?

With no way forward…….I question my involvement

In solidarity……..CA

08.09.11 – AB

Woolloomooloo Rising will rise!

Inshalla, Amir

08.09.11 – Sage

Thanks everyone for stating where you are at. Can those who want to get together join me next week, Thursday at 3pm a where to from here if anywhere?


08.09.11 – AB

See you on Thursday 3pm, Amir

19.09.11 – Carole Anne

Hey…….how about we set up a website????

Lots of the homeless access internet – they can tell their stories – we can give news updates AND we could recognise other agencies which also helps the homeless – even the recent spat of violence…….events – whatever…….just a thought…….CA

29.10.11 – Carl


I only have limited time on Wednesdays for this work so i’ll see you at 12:15pm on Wednesday.

I suggest you put whatever content you need into the website before Wednesday so when we get together it is ready to be formatted


02.11.11 – AB

If you don’t mind please keep my computer as I don’t have a place to store it (the art space is closed)
Will take it tomorrow

02.11.11 – Carl

Ok Amir just sms me to see what to do on the day, otherwise see you next wednesday at 12:15

18.01.12 – AB

Hi Carl,

Sorry about Maurine. It is defiantly my bike and I will try to sort it out, sooner than later.

I will appreciate if you can change the logo to 100% – I didn’t take it on the stick.

The 60% changes the proportion and it is jumping and catching my eyes. (all the pages)

It also can wait till our next meeting.

Many Thanks, Amir

18.01.12 – Carl

Re: 100%

Thanks Amir

lets attend to it next wednesday, please remind me

23.01.12 – HSUC & Anor ast AB


Around August 2010, three years ago, after exhausting all my and my family – friends financial resources ($1.2 million), I became homeless on zero budget. I am homeless and I live at Tom Uren Place, Woollomooloo, Sydney. In the the last two years, on Fridays from 11 am to 3 pm, I used to volunteer at the nearby Back Shed Cafe, which is part of Hope Street, a charity on behalf of the Baptist Church. In the last few months I was assistant by different people during my shift, mainly by a women named Dien.

Friday, 13 January 2012

23-4 January 2012
22 February 2012

Sleeping gear/bible – Kuparot

26 March 2012

Going through the scattered staff, Tomer pictures and the disaster documents. Camera + laptop- gone. saved- cassettes.

29.11.12 – 7.30 pm

Frnank ” You don’t smile, don’t talk… You are Poffy (kunt) eben Sharamota…You are c rocket thief, cheat like all the other… you may think this is because I an moving to .. You Smart Ass… I was in the Op shop to take some cloths and they told me that you stole George phone. You make plenty of money and you don’t bring it in.. you give to some places, you make …Morin they all said you are ,achust sharamota have one and go… “

On 17 March 2013, Sunday 10.30 pm Sunday at Tom Uren Square near my sleeping gear, while both standing;
Carol Ann – John Paul gave me the letter & I know that he provoke you like he did to Jacqueline. Now Morin & George are suing Hope Street and me.
Me – What do you mean he provoked?
Carol – Yes, I was there when it happen & I saw that he provoke you.
Me – What do you mean by provoke. I didn’t threaten him.
Carol – Yes you did.

Me – There was never position that I threaten him. I said that he is finishing & killing Hope Street. All will be found out in the court.

Carol – Oh, so I should change my statement.
Me – You should stick to your truth and don’t change anything. Just the true.

In the week that started on the 13 of January 2012, I told Dien that I will be late at the coming Friday and I asked her to start the shift by herself, me joining her at around 12.30 pm. Dien said to the effect of: ” I will cover for you, and this is my last Friday that I can come to help you, as I am going to have a real job”.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 

Friday, 20 January 2012

I was at the Oznam Learning Center from 8.30 am till around 12.15 pm, working on the computer. I went down to the nearby cafe and I saw a red plastic bucket covered with a towel, placed on a milk kart in the coffee service area on the floor. I lifted the towel and saw a red fluid which had a strong smell of alcohol. I saw Murine and I asked her to the effect: “what is this bucket”. She replied to the effect: “some guys have a party and they are making a punch”. Around two minutes later I saw dien and I said to the effect: “can you keep me an Oz Harvest beg”. Dien replied anger words to the effect: “you didn’t kept me one, and “, and she turned away. Rozi entered the cafe and I escort her to the Op Shop as she needed to change her cloths. I left to the Talbot to have lunch and I returned to the cafe at around 1 pm.

The Black Magic

I made myself a coffee 

168-174 Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo 2011 NSW 

Application Number: D/2013/30

Change of use of existing terrace from commercial to residential. Alterations and additions, including installation of two front dormer windows, a rear roof extension, a ground floor rear awning, and rear ground floor folding doors, and internal refurbishments.

Barrie Goldsmith