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Bishop Laryea

Bishop Laryea is a Community Service Worker managing the Reginald Murphy Community Centre in Kings Cross. Born in Ghana, Africa, Bishop and his family moved here 24 years ago and still mostly all live in Sydney. He understands how important community is and is enthusiastic about his centre. This is his story.

The Reginald Murphy Community Centre is a small community space where the community can come for social activities, educational classes and community programs and outreach.Bishop’s role is to help facilitate the programs and events and promote the centre services to the local residents.

Anyone and everyone in the community is welcome

Originally when the centre first opened 50 years ago it was a centre only for older people when five years ago they started to open it up to all. It has been a gradual change but the centre is there for everyone.  They now have mums with babies, people in their early 30s and seniors dropping in all the time. They also offer a 3 course meal for lunch everyday which helps create that real village community vibe.

Bishop has been at the centre three years, and is most proud of the diversity of his centre visitors. Not just the cultural backgrounds of the community including African, Middle Eastern, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Americans, and of course Australians. It’s also the diversity of their locations, where visitors come as far as Miranda and Liverpool and interstate, to participate in some of the bus tour events.

We are only limited by the size of the centre, really it is made up of just one big main room.

This means that Bishop can only facilitate one event at a time and with the centre wishing to maintain its open door for people just wanting to say hello and have a cup of tea, sometimes that can be hard but not impossible.

They want to do more weekly activities, while maintaining the current level of services. Of course, there is a lunch meal every day, but also yoga on a Monday, music for babies and toddlers, pilates on Wednesday, art classes, indoor gardening, singing class and so on.

He enjoys what he does and says if you enjoy what you do, it’s easy. It doesn’t feel like work.

I like feeling like I am a real part of the village and community.