Download the Transcript: FHS-BrianRenata-Howe-2017

Brian and Renata Howe arrived in Fitzroy following their University years and study for the Ministry in Chicago. Interested in Saul David Alinsky and community organisation, Brian began to apply these teachings when appointed to the Ministry in the Methodist Church. The interview describes a wide range of consequential influences and changes within the community, including negotiation between the Presbyterian and Methodist churches forming the Uniting Church.

The interview describes the congregations and the Hungarian refugee presence in the 1950s, their needs and the services provided by the church. The conditions of schools, especially North Fitzroy Primary School and resourcing are discussed.

While at the Napier Street church Brian and Renata set up CURA (Centre for Urban Action and Research) and with assistance of grants and donations they provided analysis to support community organising for the creation of services to be run by the local community.

This included assistance with saving Brookes Crescent, establishing the Housing Commission Tenants Association, ethnic groups and the Italian community in Coburg, the Eastern Freeway and a Migrant Women’s Unit within the Trade Union Movement. In addition, they produced an ABC Four Corners Program on women’s working conditions.

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