From The Vault – 40 years of Inner Voice

31 October 2018 | Posted In: #134 Spring 2018, Celebrating 40 years, From the Vault, Inner Sydney Voice – ISRCSD,

It is hard to think about the challenges of information sharing in the age before social media and the internet. In March 1978, when organisations were dependent on physical resource centres, printed leaflets, word of mouth and telephone trees, Regional Council launched into “the information game” with Inner Voice. Forty years on Inner Sydney Voice still has a role to play.

You can download a scanned copy of all of Issue 1 from March 1978 – The first issue of Inner Voice

Editorial – March 1978 – Text Version

Several months have gone into the planning of Inner Voice – the newsletter of the Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development Co-op Limited.

And the last weeks have very much reflected local residents’ reactions over the years at meetings, workshops and seminars – “Well, yes, we’ve been talking for hours about doing this, isn’t it about time we cut the cackle and start doing?”

Result – ‘Inner Voice: No. 1’, an issue we thought might get to 20 pages, then 40 and, when laid out, reached 62. Everyone was eager to contribute – no one refused, yet lots of pieces missed what with the mail strike, pre-Easter commitments, annual holidays and the like.

The Regional Council is now officially in ‘The Information Game” – but looking back we wonder whenever we weren’t in it. And if we’ve been in the participation game, which is about decision-making and taking action to make changes, then of course we’ve been in the information game – information being a prerequisite in that process.

In its first 2 years the Regional Council set the framework for its developmental work. Its 4 principal areas of activity were in housing, family support, planning and community activities.

And in everything it engaged in, the Regional Council’s approach was determined by a belief in the fundamental right of people to participate in the decisions that affected their lives. Thus, the Regional Council has always directed its efforts towards both the assistance of community groups, which are the structures that enable effective participation, and also by the opening-up and devolution of decision-making by governments.

With the fight for survival of the AAP [Australian Assistance Plan] last year, the Regional Council’s efforts turned from expansion to consolidation to ensure the survival of community groups it worked with. And it demonstrated the effectiveness of the Council’s efforts to link community groups into a network which provides information and mutual support. Increasing numbers of groups started using the Council’s resources to assist their own activities, information flowed freely between them keeping them abreast of developments and, repeatedly, they worked together on issues of common concern.

The AAP survival campaign failed. But the mutual trust and togetherness grew. Members and volunteers grew in consequence. The AAP idea succeeded.

And whilst we may not appear to be as large as in days of yore – no admin section, no community development field staff – in fact, we’re bigger than ever – more eyes and ears, more hands and feet. Our function is to develop an effective information service which will assist messages to be passed from an environment to a person or organisation who will use these messages to make decisions and, in turn, act on that environment.

‘Inner Voice: No. 1’ has very much been a joint team effort which the writing styles and layout reflect. Future editions will be more of the same, whether it be what’s happening in a local street or how a government department works.

Inner Voice is nominally the newsletter of the Inner Sydney RCSD. In fact, it is the newsletter of Inner Sydney – if that be our choice.

INNER VOICE – March 1978

You can download a scanned copy of all of Issue 1 from March 1978 – The first issue of Inner Voice