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At the Ordinary Meeting March 20 March 2023, Council resolved to rename the Chester Hill Community Centre to the Helen Westwood AM Community Centre.

Helen Mary Westwood AM is a former Australian politician and Labor Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. Westwood was a member of the Council from 2007 to 2015.

She has been a giant in the Bankstown Community and has worked tirelessly over very many years to make Bankstown a better place.

Helen was a community worker for various community-based organisations in South West Sydney between 1985 to 1989 and was the Centre Coordinator of the Bessie Smythe Foundation from 1994 to 1996.

Helen grew up locally with her parents and siblings in Birrong, she attended local schools in Sefton and Birrong. She raised her two daughters in Sefton and in 1995 Helen was elected to Bankstown City Council . In 2007 she was elected as a Member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales. She was the first Mayor of Bankstown to be elected to NSW Parliament.

During her time on Council, Helen served as Deputy Mayor between 1997 and 1998 and as Mayor of Bankstown City from September 2002 to May 2006. Her main motivation for standing was the marked absence of female representatives. Since being elected, she has become an outspoken and articulate advocate for women in the community, refusing to back down on issues such as domestic violence, child sexual offences and sexual assault. She has also organised public forums, conferences and marches to raise awareness about violence against women.

Helen Westwood

In 2001, she was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to Local Government.

She was a board member of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) from 2001 and its chair from 2004 to 2005. Additionally, Helen was a member of the Executive of the New South Wales Local Government Association and was a Director on the Board of Waste Recycling and Processing Corporation from 1996 to 2007.

In 2006, Helen was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to Local Government. A year later, she was commended in the Women of the West Award for her commitment and dedication to improving social balance, equity, opportunity and community harmony.

In 2011, she was Deputy Chair of a parliamentary inquiry into domestic violence which pushed for an integrated response to domestic and family violence by the NSW Government.

Helen is a passionate advocate for all members of our community, particularly those that are vulnerable and has worked to expand parkland in our City, including Paul Keating Park, a wonderful and well used green space in the heart of Bankstown.

This proposal

One of Helen’s notable achievements was that she was instrumental in obtaining the funding for the design and construction of Chester Hill Community Centre.

It is very appropriate therefore that we acknowledge Helen’s contribution to Bankstown by naming this Centre, which she worked to make a reality in her honour, as “The Helen Westwood AM Community Centre.”


  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Monday 24 July 2023 - Monday 14 August 2023 05:00 pm

    Exhibition Period

    This consultation is open for contributions.

  • Timeline item 2 - active

    Monday 14 August 2023 05:00 pm


    Contributions to this exhibition are closed, reviewed and reported back to the project team.

  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete

    Report to Council

    The proposal with a summary of the community feedback received over this exhibition period is considered by Council.

Who's listening

If you have questions or want to learn more about the project, please contact the Council officers listed below.

In writing

By post to Mr Matthew Stewart, CEO, City of Canterbury Bankstown PO Box 8, Bankstown NSW 1885

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City of Canterbury Bankstown



Community Engagement Officer

City of Canterbury Bankstown

Phone: 9707 9578

The City of Canterbury Bankstown acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, water and skies of Canterbury-Bankstown, the Darug (Darag, Dharug, Daruk, Dharuk) People. We recognise and respect Darug cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge the First Peoples’ continuing importance to our CBCity community.

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Our friendly Customer Service Call Centre is open Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm to assist with all enquiries.

Phone 9707 9000

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