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THE inaugural WEXPO was a great success showcasing businesses, keynote speakers, community leaders’ forums and information sessions brought together at Blacktown Workers Club.

WEXPO created an opportunity for key speakers to take the ideas generated to NSW Parliament.

Stephen Bali MP State Member for Blacktown hosted five speakers who presented to Government representatives, Chris Minns MP NSW Labor Leader and many other parliamentarians about the needs, challenges and opportunities for the people of Western Sydney.

Professor Zlatko Skrbis, Australian Catholic University (ACU) Vice Chancellor, said that lives can be improved with educational opportunities.

Local students can complete their studies in Blacktown to become teachers, nurses, sports science, and nutritionists. They will work in the local area providing opportunities for the next generation.

Ray Messom, CEO of WentWest primary health network spoke on the need for a social impact fund that provides funding in delivering health and social services to where it is needed.

Whilst physical infrastructure is needed, there also needs to be a compliment of people-to-people services assisting mental health, family welfare and physical wellbeing.

Glen Maberly, Western Sydney Diabetes, identified diabetes as the silent scourge that can result in heart failure, dementia, blindness, cancer, and amputation.

Diabetes is preventable in 80% of the cases and by improve one’s health, that will result in significant health improvements. One big idea is for the Western Sydney community to get behind a campaign to lose 2kg each.

Clement Meru, SydneyWest Multicultural Services Manager spoke on the need for improved employment strategies as many qualified refugees and new settlers are not able to maximum their professional knowledge in appropriate work.

Katherine Tocchini, of Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals discussed a global cities program, Cities Changing Diabetes, and their desire to have a western Sydney council to be the first in Australia to sign up to the life changing initiative and improving health outcomes.

Scott Farlow MLC responded on behalf of the Government welcoming WEXPO participants and outlining the importance of western Sydney and the WestInv scheme.

Chris Minns MP responded on behalf of the NSW Labor saying “WEXPO brings together a diverse range of people – community leaders, businesspeople, charities workers, professionals and academics.   

“The one thing they all have in common is their enthusiasm for western Sydney. The room was full of people with energy and ideas, and I look forward to working with them if NSW Labor is fortunate enough to form government next year.”

The Blacktown News was the principal media partner for WEXPO. See www.wexpo.com.au

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WEXPO connects the West

In terms of GDP, Western Sydney is half the size of Western Australia and bigger than Tasmania, Northern Territory and ACT combined. With 2.5 million people the region is the fastest growing population in Australia and the most diverse in terms of culture and age. It is home to 150,000 businesses and an unprecedented boom in development driven by the construction of Australia’s newest 24-hour airport.

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