Communities of Change

Western Sydney Now and Into the Future

Insights for Shaping the Delivery of Services

The Communities of Change Report is a joint initiative between the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW and Western Sydney Community Forum.

The purpose of the Communities of Change Report is to provide insights on the changing landscape of Western Sydney to assist in making quality strategic decisions about future planning and investment in service delivery.

Jack de Groot
CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

The Communities of Change Report is a resource for everyone who is passionate about contributing to the best possible future for Western Sydney. The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has worked closely with our partner, Western Sydney Community Forum, to draw a clear and timely picture of the state of the region, to identify opportunities and to anticipate the needs of people across Western Sydney over the next 10 years and beyond. Our challenge lays in how to plan, adapt, grow and tackle deep and structural disadvantage and harness the dynamic opportunities in our work with the people we serve.

Billie Sankovic
CEO, Western Sydney Community Forum

The Communities of Change Report starts by drawing on traditional population data and key wellbeing indicators to understand trends. It goes further in two ways. Firstly, it describes the economic, planning and infrastructure landscape that enormously impacts the health and wellbeing of communities, but which can be neglected in service planning. Secondly, it starts the journey of attempting to unlock the complex service system web in a quantifiable way. By bringing together these key pieces of information, the Report tells a deeper story about the region with its interrelated and interdependent influences. Therein lies its value.

Setting the Scene

Section 1 sets the scene and introduces the partnership and the purpose of the Report. It outlines the project scope and a framework for quality management and review.

Population Trends 2016

Section 2 focuses on examining broad-based and conventional population data, as well as data on priority population groups, to ascertain community trends and priorities across Western Sydney. This information provides a sound footing and an anchor for the Report.

Indicators of Wellbeing

Section 3 examines some of the key indicators of wellbeing and their prevalence across Western Sydney. This information provides an overview of key stress factors that may impact on community wellbeing, which assists in decision making for service priorities.

Growth Landscape

Section 4 presents an overview of population forecasts and growth patterns across Western Sydney. It summarises population projections in actual numbers over a 20 year period and outlines the annual expected rate of growth in the context of these projections. This section shows expected population changes in coming decades, which is likely to increase demand for infrastructure and services in the future.

Planning Landscape Overview

Section 5 describes the planning and policy context of Western Sydney. It identifies short and longer-term plans for urban development, infrastructure delivery and transport and is presented visually to illustrate expected changes in the community and urban footprint into the future.

Industry, Skill and Economic Landscape

Section 6 provides an overview of the industry, skill and economic landscape in Western Sydney. It reviews literature on the current and future landscape as well as employment and qualification data trends. This mixed approach enables a more nuanced view of the environment, providing both descriptive and predictive elements to better inform service planning and delivery.

Socioeconomic Landscape

Section 7 summarises the socioeconomic landscape of Western Sydney and provides an overview of place-based disadvantage, according to key indicators. This information supports a better understanding of the spatial concentration of disadvantage and enables the identification of priority locations across the region.

Indicative Community Services Investment

Section 8 provides an indicative per capita investment in community services by the not-for-profit sector across each local government area.

Health and Education Snapshot

Section 9 provides a snapshot of education and health facilities in the region, which enables an expanded understanding of investment in services that support communities. It also identifies local service providers and the potential for collaboration and partnerships, which may assist in future service planning and delivery.


Section 10 summarises and notes observations about the region and its local government areas. Firstly, it provides an overview of the region and its communities, noting the key characteristics and trends for consideration. It then describes the key features and considerations for each local government area, outlining priorities that could inform future service planning and delivery.

Download the Full Report

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned this report may contain images of deceased persons which may cause sadness or distress.

What does this mean for you?

Western Sydney Community Forum will be working directly with you to unpack the Communities of Change report and to explore the implications at the local level.

In the coming months, we will be holding sessions in each Western Sydney local government area, as part of a roadshow to present the Report. The Communities of Change Roadshow sessions will deliver key findings and offer insights specifically related to current and future service delivery in your local government area.

This is an opportunity to gain insights that will assist in making quality strategic decisions for your organisation – not to be missed.

Find out more