Pyrmont Network of Services (PUNS) networking event and workshop


CWH as a committee member of the Pyrmont Ultimo Network of Services (PUNS), attended a networking event and workshop on the 22 and 23 January. PUNS was founded in 2016 to work collaboratively to improve coordination and delivery of social services and programs to Ultimo and Pyrmont communities, and enable more effective and efficient use of available resources. 

The January events aimed to bring the right people together to learn about each other’s work and through collaboration design, capacity mapping and storytelling, explore how we might leverage our collective impact to empower the people of Pyrmont and Ultimo and overcome social isolation and differences to create a thriving community 

At the networking event there were 40 attendees from various local organisations and groups. After some icebreaking activities we had the opportunity to learn about each other, both the services we provide and our strategic goals for the community we work in. It was an evening of sharing stories, experiences and sometimes frustrations around the challenges faced by the Ultimo Pyrmont services and community. 

The Wednesday workshop was a chance for the organisations involved to provide valuable input and address the different themes that emerged from our literature review on social isolation. These themes were: 

-       Collaboration (How can we do better together?) 

-       Connection (Infrastructure and support for social connection and networks)

-       Inclusion (Working with ageing and low social economic status residents and residents with disabilities)

-       Diversity (Working with CALD residents - including refugees, recent arrivals and international students)

-       Family (Supporting local families and children)

All attendees had the opportunity to migrate to tables that piqued their interest. With three rounds of discussions, everyone was able to identify current challenges and brainstorm potential initiatives to overcome these challenges. We also prioritised actionable items into short and long-term categories. In the final round, all participants were challenged to identify their top three actions across all sections. The goal of this was to develop a strategic plan of collaborative activity for the network. 

The idea behind this workshop was that those living and working in the area already have the collective knowledge and creativity to address the current challenges. Through working together, we can build on local knowledge and perspectives to reach effective solutions. This is certainly what we found as the different tables were buzzing with both critical analysis and informed ideas.

Overall, the two events were very successful. As part of PUNS we achieved our goals in expanding the network and facilitating collaborative activity to improve the wellbeing of residents of Pyrmont and Ultimo.