The Riverwood Community Centre was conceived in 1974 when a group of residents who called themselves “the Voices of Riverwood” received a grant from the Federal Government under the Australian Assistance Plan. It began its operations in a house in Belmore Road offering community information, occasional care and a weekly youth drop-in and was staffed only by volunteer local residents. From that day it has never stopped growing, continually striving to meet the needs of its local community and that of the surrounding areas.
Today it resides in a specially built multi-purpose building leased from the Canterbury City Council and is the auspicing body of 14 services and programs. These include: The Neighbourhood Centre, Riverwood Family Support, Riverwood Youth Service, Riverwood Child Sexual Assault Service funded by the Department of Community Serviced Services Grant’s Program (CSPG), The Riverwood Neighbour Aid Program and Canterbury Shopping Service funded by Department of Ageing and Disability’s Home and Community Care Program (HACC), The Riverwood Out of School Care Programs of Before and After School Care and Vacation Care Program funded by Department of Community Services, parents fees and subsidies from CentreLink, The Links to Learning Programs of Time-Out, Future Focus and Help for Early School Leavers funded by Department of Education and Training, the Housing and Communities Assistance Program and the Central Sydney South Regional Tenants Resource Service funded by the NSW Department of Housing, and the Leisure Learning Program funded by participants fees and the Board of Adult Education.
It co-auspices the Canterbury Counseling Service with the Earlwood Caring Centre funded by the Department of Community Services under the Community Services Grant program.
It holds 2 Department of Housing Community Lawn and Cleaning community contracts, 2 casual Lawn and cleaning contracts and the lawn and cleaning contracts for 2 St George Community Housing Properties.
It self- funds the position of Program Facilitator who supports the development of the Centre’s program and services.
It provides 4 Outreach Services, a Drug and Alcohol Counselor through the Department of Health, a Youth Counselor through Canterbury City Council, and a worker to provide assistance for youth from CentreLink and a worker from the Marrickville Legal Centre.
It manages the use of the building between 7am and 9:30pm Monday to Friday facilitating the use of the building by the community. Twenty four outside groups use the building on a weekly basis.
It sponsors community events in particularly the Riverwood Community Festival on an annual basis.
It provides opportunities for community participation through its volunteer program. This year over hundred volunteers have supported the Centre’s work.
It owns and manages 3 commuter buses, which provide community transport.
It supports local community structure including the Riverwood Children’ Centre, Riverwood Estate Advisor Board Riverwood and District Tenants Association and the Riverwood Australian Arabic Association. It takes student placements, work experience students and people on Community Service Orders.