Patty McDonald.
Patty McDonald. Adam Hourigan

Forum helps Patty stand up for her South Grafton community

ONE of Patty McDonald's passions is standing up for people in her community.

Ms McDonald is known for going on A Current Affair to speak about the fear caused by crime in South Grafton.

She recently received some guidance on how to fulfil that passion at the 11th Regional Tenant Conference, hosted by Norlinks in Port Macquarie.

Norlinks is funded by the Department of Family and Community Services and provides support and information to social housing tenants.

MORE: CCTV cuts crime in Patty's neighbourhood

"The forum was designed to encourage people who run things in the community to keep going," Ms McDonald said.

"My desire is to gather the housing community together so we can support one another. That's one of my passions."

Ms McDonald said she spoke to one of the seven FaCS officers at the event who saw the A Current Affair story.

She said she raised the issue about irresponsible parenting and if it would be possible to have lessons on parenting in the future.

Overall, Ms McDonald said she was pleased with the forum.

"They treated everybody as if they were important and with great respect," she said.

"The forum gave me something to look at. It gave me contacts.

"I have a desire to get into a place where people in my community don't have to stand alone. I'd like to see meetings every so often where people can get together and feel free to discuss what's going on in the community."

Norlinks manager Wendy LeBlanc said the main service they provided was helping public housing tenants get together to form groups.

"We support tenants coming together for whatever reason," Dr LeBlanc said.

"If they've got issues in the community, the more voices they have will get them more action."

Some of the things covered were maintenance, transfers and the FaCS restructure.

Dr LeBlanc said any public housing tenants who had issues with their housing provider could phone them on 1800 088 592 or 6771 3236.



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