Glebe Youth Service. The Reoccupation of the building..

Roeluf Smilde speaks

The salient points in this process are quite clear.  Land and Housing are going to spend some seven weeks addressing some of the safety issues.  It is not major work and it is not expensive.  They expect we will be able to resume normal service by the 14th February, maybe earlier.  The one program that is still prevented from resuming is the Pathways educational program.  The classroom  cant be used until a sprinkler system has been installed (in the whole building) and that could take at least six months.  The teaching staff will have trouble keeping their students engaged.

We had agreed to take up an offer for a temporary office in the terrace house next to the old fire station in Mitchell Street.  This proposed move has caused considerable stress to the people who regularly make use of  that space,   we can now happily drop that offer.

We must thank all the people who took part in the campaign for reoccupation.  The leaflets, the posters, the rally, the Xmas cards and the radio interviews all played their part.  Another significant factor was the City of Sydney’s offer to do an independent assessment of the building.  It seems quite clear that this move had Land and Housing worried and caused them to change course.

While the reoccupation is a great result the campaign to Save GYS is not over.  We need to get a new long-term lease at a peppercorn rent, or its equivalent, and that will not be easy.  We need to put our best effort into this, starting early in the New Year.     Roelof Smilde.   27th December, 2013.


The NSW Land & Housing Corporation and Housing NSW have come back to Glebe Youth Service with a proposal to get the Service operating again at 84 Glebe Point Road by mid February 2014. Land & Housing Corporation are undertaking a scope of works to address the fire safety concerns that led them to close the building on 27 November 2013.


The Management Committee of GYS are delighted that this action will be taken as quickly as possible. We thank Mark Byrne (L&HC) and Brett Louat (HNSW) and their teams who have worked towards the goal of ensuring GYS can continue it’s work with the Glebe community and return to 84 Glebe Point Road.


We are extremely grateful to the many members and representatives of the local community who rallied to the aid of Glebe Youth Service, wrote to the Minister for Community Services, attended the rally, signed petitions, emailed their support to staff and made it clear how much you all value the work done by Glebe Youth Service.


We wish all our friends and supporters a safe and merry Christmas as we look forward with greater confidence that 2014 will be another year whereby Glebe Youth Service may strive to achieve our mission to “develop in Young People a sense of dignity and personal responsibility to achieve their goals and contribute positively to their community”.



For further information contact GYS Management Committee members:

Patrick Cunningham 0418 603 264       Greg Dwyer, 0421 505 295

Hilary Chesworth, 0423 252 535            Roelof Smilde, 0401 711 032

Protest Xmas Card to Pru Goward

pru xmas card

click on the blue writing for the pdf of the pru xmas  card


If you want to send your own Xmas Card to Minister Pru Goward – do NOT worry that you missed Xmas she did not care if the kids of Glebe missed Xmas in the Glebe Youth Service Building.


Directions: Print out an A4 version

Step 1: fold in half with the pictures on the outside of the fold.

Step 2: fold in half again keeping Santa on the outside and the text inside

Step 3: Sign the card and write a message to Pru

Step 4: Send to Pru address at the back of the card



Dear friends and supporters of Glebe Youth Service


This is to let you know the latest news in the campaign to return Glebe Youth Service to its home at 84 Glebe Point Road.


Since the shock lockout on 28 November, with the support of the wider community, Glebe Youth Service has continued in difficult circumstances to provide its regular programs from different locations in the Glebe area.


On Wednesday 11 December, members of the GYS Management Committee met with representatives of the NSW Land & Housing Corporation (LAHC) and Housing NSW to discuss the Fire Safety Assessment report on the premises.  This was a closed meeting, because to date the report has been made available only to the GYS Management Committee.  (City of Sydney Council has subsequently been provided with a copy of the report and will conduct an independent fire safety assessment.)


The representatives from LAHC included engineers who had assessed the Fire Safety report made by independent consultants, and who were there to answer questions from the Management Committee.


LAHC assured the Management Committee that they are investigating all options to enable GYS to return to its premises.  Their focus has shifted from an investigation of the overall structural integrity of the building, to finding a solution to the fire safety risk and thus allowing GYS to provide all its services from the building.  They can’t say how long it will take to find a solution, particularly since we are coming into the Christmas period.  However, they told us the decision, which will be made within the Department of Family and Community Services, will be based not merely on the financial aspects, but will take into account the views of the funder (GYS is primarily funded by Community Services) and the importance of GYS to the Glebe community.


(The NSW Land and Housing Corporation, Housing NSW and Community Services all fall within the NSW Department of Family and Community Services; the Minister responsible for this Department is Pru Goward.)


While waiting for the decision, GYS has accepted the offer by HNSW to use a two storey terrace next to the old fire station in Mitchell Street, which is very close to the premises in Glebe Point Road.  This terrace has been used by HNSW for storage up to now; we are assured that the weekly Housing Outreach at this building will continue, in a location within easy reach of Glebe residents.


Glebe Youth Service Management Committee hold firmly to the belief that the best location to fully deliver its broad range of services to the youth of Glebe is at it’s home of the last 15 years at 84 Glebe Point Rd.


Glebe Youth Service Management Committee will continue to do all it can to make sure the Service gets back to its premises in Glebe Point Road as soon as possible.  We encourage all our supporters to:

  • Come to the rally on Saturday 14 December at 11 am at 84 Glebe Point Road
  • Write to Minister Goward to tell her how important it is that GYS return to the building and continue its vital work with the young people of Glebe


The GYS Management Committee congratulates its magnificent staff, especially Acting Coordinator Amy O’Neill and Youth Worker Luke Chesworth on maintaining activities and services to the young people of Glebe during this incredibly difficult and stressful period.


For further information please contact:

Patrick Cunningham, 0418 603 264

Greg Dwyer, 0421 505 295

Hilary Chesworth, 0423 252 535

Roelof Smilde, 0401 711 032




Media Release on Glebe Youth Service

Fightback against closure of Glebe Youth Service


Community protest has erupted after youth workers were suddenly locked out of the Glebe Youth Service (GYS) building at 84 Glebe Point Road for alleged fire safety reasons.

“Housing NSW has refused to release the fire safety report which makes us suspect that the real intent is to sell the building for several millions,” said Hannah Middleton who has begun a daily vigil outside the locked GYS building.

At a public meeting last week local Green MP Jamie Parker, ALP shadow housing minister Sophie  Cotsis, Sydney City Council Deputy Mayor Robyn Kemmis and representatives of the Glebe Society and Hands off Glebe joined community members in condemning the closure.

“I decided to vigil daily outside the GYS building as one of many efforts to make the NSW Minister for Community Affairs Pru Goward reverse the decision and give us back our youth service,” said Hannah Middleton, a member of Hands off Glebe and the local Port Jackson branch of the Communist Party.

“I will also be collecting signatures on protest Christmas Cards to be sent to Minister Pru Goward.

“I am outraged that on the eve of Christmas the Minister has closed the service as it swings into action to provide activities for young people from 12 to 18 to provide an alternative to what can be risky behaviour.

“We feel the closure is part of a pattern in which social services and public housing tenants are treated as liabilities while buildings are valued as assets.

“Our community is justifiably suspicious of a government interested in cutting rather than providing services, and suspect the motivation is to sell off the building and sell out Glebe’s young people.”

“We are coming together to battle this injustice perpetrated by a heartless O’Farrell Government and we will not stop until we have our Glebe Youth Service back in its home in the heart of Glebe,” Hannah Middleton concluded.

For more information:  Hannah Middleton 0418 668 098

Visit our website: