The Fonda Court project
8 January 2020

The Fonda Court project

It all began with a barbecue.

Two years ago, a group of community groups, led by the City of Onkaparinga and the Connect Christie Downs working group, began meeting with residents living in the flats and townhouses surrounding a little-known reserve on Fonda Court, Christie Downs.

“The monthly barbecues enabled strong relationships to develop and identified the community’s various opportunities and strengths,” says Amanda Kemperman, City of Onkaparinga Community Connections Officer.

“We heard that an upgrade would support neighbours to feel safer plus build pride and sense of home.”

Support came from the Southern Community Safety Committee (SCSC), which connects various council teams and government departments together to create safer, more inclusive communities within the City of Onkaparinga.

Its audit, in response to a large number of police attendances and the high cost of vandalism in the neighbourhood, also recommended a reserve upgrade and the installation of CCTV. The transformation began.

Collaboration on a comprehensive security system by council, SA Police and SA Housing had an instant effect, and police attendance has since dropped by more than 75 per cent, with maintenance costs due to vandalism also dropping significantly.

Equally impressive has been the visual change.

AnglicareSA’s Communities for Children commissioned local graffiti artist Morris Green to work with residents and stakeholders to make the reserve’s fences and walls come alive through murals, addressing graffiti vandalism issues and showcasing the area’s strengths and history.

“Morris did a fantastic job, with the murals illustrating the history of the site, which was formerly the Ocean Line drive-in theatre, as well as iconic native Australian native animals and plants,” says Amanda.

Next came the installation of irrigated lawn, a BBQ, seating and a swing set to support residents to connect and strengthen relationships, building community resilience and addressing safety.

Late last year, the residents and key stakeholders met once again to celebrate the makeover – with another barbecue of course.

“It was great to catch up to celebrate what is now an inviting haven, and to reflect on what’s possible when we all work together,” says Janine Moyle from Lutheran Community Care’s Outer Southern Homelessness Service.

“It was a true collaboration between so many different stakeholders, which all came together in a coordinated way to make it happen” agrees Darryn Moyle, Asset Protection Coordinator at the City of Onkaparinga.

The Connect Christie Downs collaborative group is led by council and includes AnglicareSA’s Communities for Children Onkaparinga, SA Housing Authority, Lutheran Community Care’s Outer Southern Homelessness Service and Junction Australia. For more information contact Amanda on 8301 7356.

The Fonda Court project is part of council’s neighbourhood development program, which uses project-based initiatives to work with a variety of communities and neighbourhoods across the region, including vulnerable communities.

City of Onkaparinga works with residents, community groups and agencies that come together to act on and find answers to common problems; and connect with community in public spaces, community facilities and on the streets to improve opportunities for our community.

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