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Jelena Dokic to Lead Anniversary Celebrations for Community First Step’s 50 Years of Empowering South West Sydney

Community First Step 2 mins read
Community First Step-image

Celebrating half a century of service and dedication throughout Fairfield and South West Sydney, Community First Step is proud to announce its 50th anniversary.  

Since its inception as the Fairfield Community Council for Social Development, Community First Step has been dedicated to the highly culturally diverse communities of Fairfield LGA and South West Sydney, tirelessly working to uplift those facing personal, social, and economic challenges and empowering them towards a thriving future. With a focus on children, youth, families, disability support, and community capacity building, Community First Step stands as a testament of building community wellbeing and equity through the power of compassionate and impactful service and advocacy.  

The Fairfield LGA, known for its vibrant cultural diversity, continues to face significant socio-economic hurdles. From low income and educational attainment to challenges in health and housing, the community's needs are vast. Yet, the impact of Community First Step's efforts is significant, with a newly released Urbis Social Return on Investment analysis revealing that every dollar invested in the organisation generates $2.88 in social and economic return. This means that just last year alone, Community First Step generated over $5million dollars of social benefits for the community.  

To commemorate this landmark anniversary, Community First Step is hosting a special event on March 27 at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. The event will serve as a celebration of Community First Step's remarkable history and an opportunity to reflect on the impact it has made over the past half-century. Jelena Dokic, the renowned tennis player with deep ties to Fairfield, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and also share her story.  

Dokic's involvement brings a personal touch to the celebration, embodying the strength and spirit of the Fairfield community. Her journey from a young immigrant growing up in Fairfield and facing challenges of poverty and domestic violence to a celebrated athlete and advocate for empowerment mirrors the transformative impact Community First Step aims to achieve. 

When asked what this means to her, Jelena Dokic said, “I’m so excited to be returning to the area and being part of Community First Step’s 50th Anniversary. It’s an honour to celebrate their history and impact throughout the diverse communities of Fairfield and South West Sydney.” 

Prof. Pandora Patterson, CEO of Community First Step stated “We are thrilled to be celebrating 50 years of empowering and working in partnership with the communities of South West Sydney, and having Jelena lead this event is a real honour. Jelena’s journey embodies profound hardships and a beautiful resilience that we see daily in the people we support. We are excited to mark this milestone and look forward to another 50 years of meaningful impact.” 

The event promises to be a memorable occasion, bringing together community members, partners, staff, and supporters, to celebrate the achievements of Community First Step and inspiring the future of this organisation’s invaluable work.  

For more information about Community First Step, please contact Marilene Fernandes – Marketing and Communications Manager, Community First Step on or 0411 379 952.    

About us:

About Community First Step: Community First Step is a non-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and empowering the communities of Fairfield and South West Sydney and offer a wide range of services in children, youth, families, and disability support, and community capacity building. For 50 years, Community First Step has been committed to addressing personal, social and economic inequity through innovative programs, community development initiatives, and advocacy efforts. 

Contact details:

Marilene Fernandes – Marketing and Communications Manager, Community First Step:, 0411 379 952. 


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