Sinhalese Cultural Centre is Acquiring a Property in Seven Hills – Community Forum

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$64,590 of $60,000 raised
Our Sinhalese/Sri Lankan community is supporting the Sinhalese Cultural Centre and has a great interest in the current status and future plans.
Please browse through the information below and ask any question you may have here and share your suggestions.

The Sinhalese Cultural Centre (SCC) is currently in the process acquiring a property in Seven Hills to establish the Sinhalese Cultural Centre. This is a great news for our Sinhalese/Sri Lankan community in Sydney, NSW as it forms a Community Hub bringing many benefits to our generations and many future generations to come.

This is a great news for our Sinhalese/Sri Lankan community in Sydney, NSW as it forms a Community Hub bringing many benefits to our generations and many future generations to come.

The Sinhalese Cultural Centre currently has $130K+ cash reserves to be used for this acquisition. However, we have a funding deficit of around $60K.

We all know that the community supported us to come this far by supporting our fundraising activities and donations including JanaShakthi Contributions and General Donations.

For JanaShakthi Contributions, please refer to the information provided in the Sinhalese Cultural Centre website (Click Here).

General Donations can be made through Ozlanaka Community Crowdfunding Campaign. Please click here to make a General Donation.

Please note that all the donations to our Public Fund are Tax Deductible.

Sinhalese Cultural Centre Team

Contact: Nihal – 0417 660646, Daya – 0408 228435, Pramuk – 0425 358508, Upul – 0425 272 945, Susil – 0410 168572

Presentation used in Sinhalese Cultural Centre Property Acquisition – Community Briefing on Sunday the August 16th, 2020, 7:30pm (Zoom Conference) is provided below.

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10 Responses

  1. Let me open the forum by stating a set of questions received from our former SCF President Dayantha Jayaratne. He gathered these questions from number of community members through direct communication and Facebook forums. The questions and answers are provided as separate comments.

    Dayantha Jayaratne: What will happen to the intention of acquiring the property if the fundraising campaign fails to reach the target amount?

    Nihal Fernando: This was obviously one of the key consideration when SCC was deciding to proceed with the acquisition. The SCC has relied on the community to support through direct contributions and various fundraising activities. The SCC has a great faith on our strong community to support generously and reach our target amount. However, to answer this question: if SCC fails to reach the target amount, the property settlement will take place with personal loans from number of community members. Considering the response so far from the community, this is highly unlikely.

  2. Dayantha Jayaratne: If the property is acquired as planned, how SCC/ SCF is planning to fund the the cost of refurbishment, on going maintenance and mortgage payment?

    Nihal Fernando: There are number of ways SCC plans to fund the cost of refurbishment, on going maintenance and mortgage payment.
    a. SCC will continue and “enhance” the fundraising activities such as food fairs, fundraising dinners etc.
    b. A program will be launched after the acquisition, for community members to contribute towards the sustainment of the facility. Already quite a number of community members have expressed their desire to assist with contributions.
    c. The facility can be used by community groups for various activities at community rates. This is expected to provide an income.
    d. SCC expect to explore every possible avenue to receive the due government grants.

  3. Dayantha Jayaratne: What is the guarantee that the council will allow SCF to use the property as a public place and what would be the costs involved in obtaining that approval?

    Nihal Fernando: The property is zoned as “R2 Low Density Residential” and permits “Community Facilities” with Council permission. This means, the permission is expected for some level of activities. As an example, we may request a meeting place for 50 persons, storage facilities etc etc. Given the nature of the location with a large public open space adjacent, SCC believe the probability to succeed is high.
    As we have number of voluntary resources, the cost of preparing such a submission to the council is not expected to be too high.

  4. Dayantha Jayaratne: What are the target groups who would be using this facility and the expected income form operations?

    Nihal Fernando: The target groups will include the following.
    – SCF committee meetings and small gatherings
    – SCC committee meetings and small gatherings
    – Orange Leaf Seniors Group weekly and monthly gatherings
    – Sinhala school meeting and various student activities (e.g. music, drama etc)
    – Writers Guild meetings and gatherings such as book launches
    – Youth Group meetings and activities
    – Many community organisations such as University Alumnis, Charities, dancing and drama groups etc will use the facility for meetings, small gatherings and activities.

    SCC expect the community groups to use the facility with the surrounding recreation/sporting facilities available.

    All the community groups will be paying community rates, so the income is not expected to be substantial.

    The facility may be available for hire to commercial organisations/individuals for suitable activities at unused times, if community activities are not affected (e.g. private tuition class in weekday afternoons). This is primarily to generate the revenue for sustainment.

  5. Dayantha Jayaratne: Who will be maintaining the property, will that be paid staff or volunteers?

    Nihal Fernando: The property will be maintained by the volunteers except where specialised trade skills are required and not available at the time of the need. We have already received the expression of support from various community members who are specialists in various trades.

  6. Dayantha Jayaratne: Will the community members paying commercial rates or comminity rates for using the facility?

    Nihal Fernando: Community Organisations will be paying community rates.

  7. Dayantha Jayaratne: What is the capacity of the main hall or the area that can be used by the community?

    Nihal Fernando: The current plan is to have the following.
    – Hall (50 person)
    – Kitchen
    – 2 x Bathrooms
    – Office + Storage
    – 7 x Car parking lots on-site

  8. Dayantha Jayaratne: If purchased, what is the plan to go through post COVID19 period? (financial and operational)

    Nihal Fernando: The property is currently leased for $475 per week. We expect to continue the lease until we meet the following criteria.
    – SCC has sufficient funds to service the financial commitments including the mortgage, at least for 1 year. We expect this to be soon.
    – COVID-19 pandemic is “reasonably” over

  9. Centre could also provide a storage facilities (document storage cabinets)to community organisations presently kept in private residences.

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