Spanos on the campaign trail
Youth Encouragement Projects
A decade of grassroots youth service in South Sydney under threat.
Graffiti Hall of Fame was set up in the early nineties in inner city Alexandria as a grassroots youth space to offer direction and encourage creative pursuits for local youth and the wider Sydney community. The car park space set up by local businessman Tony Spanos who transformed his family's wholesale and meat export business in South Sydney. The space has launched many projects and initiatives that have positively influenced many people this decade.
Community Murals
The space is an amazing world famous art gallery of 'wild style' Graffiti. The opening of the car park for painters to get creative has helped place the street art of local youth in different context. Graffiti is an expression of the urban lifestyle that is globally recognized as a cutting edge art form. The mass of different artists that were involved in painting the Alexandria space is a milestone and an innovative solution to an inner city problem. The Mural Project has helped add colour to Sydney suburbs such as Newtown, Erskinville and Redfern. By offering a legal window for these murals youth previously alienated and criminalised are now in demand and respected for their work as artists. It's all about direction and channeling energies to a constructive outcome. By encouraging youth to nurture their creative sides you help them find direction in life that gives them the incentive for self-responsibility to feel part of a community.
Music Workshops
In Sydney youth music events have launched a myriad of collectives, motivated as well as event production and clothing labels. Groups such as Ohms Not Bombs, The Vibe Tribe, The Rainbow Circus and many more have gone on to do vital community work having held workshops at the inner city space in Alexandria. These events tend to encourage diversity with an all inclusive, welcoming atmosphere.
Grassroots Reconciliation
Tony Spanos's work with Graffiti Hall of Fame has included amazing sponsorship, support and encouragement for the local Aboriginal population, organizing sports events, go-cart and harbor cruise projects, surfing carnivals involving police and aboriginal folk, plus countless other schemes.
Environmental Projects
The Jabiluka campaign united many in opposition to Australia's latest Uranium mine proposal in Kakadu over the last couple years. Graffiti Hall of Fame has supported various Jabiluka protest groups helping set up the Loftus street vigil outside the offices of Energy Resources Australia who are responsible for the mine. At these protests Tony helped keep the events legal and peaceful turning marches into 'Love Parades' A protest group called Oms not Bombs last year raised funds to purchase a bus in which they took the anti uranium message across the land in 1998. As the group of inner city people took a sound system to Kakadu and back they created much media along the way. A similar project saw another tour to the remote North of South Australia this year to protest against the Roxby mine and the proposed Beverly and Honeymoon mines as well as the insane global nuclear waste dump planned for the region. Tony Spanos has also helped with the protests at the Timbarra mining operation in North N.S.W, by acting as a 'Peace Officer' making sure that the protester's civil rights were respected and often taking on the role of 'Police Liaison' with great success. The Timbarra mines gold extraction threatens to poison the whole water supply of the region. Anti nuke rally's at Lucus Heights in Sydney and anti old growth logging protests in East Gippsland have also been supported as well as the anti M5 protests that had recently had local old folk and active youth dancing in the streets.
People vs Profit in South Sydney
In Recent times Graffiti hall of Fame has been under increasing pressure from the South Sydney development lobby who have used court action to shut the space down. The rezoning of industrial to mixed business/residential has set in motion a blind lust for dollars that endangers the continuing operation of the space. The opening up of the lucrative market for developers unchecked gives us a frightening vision of alienation as the region developed with no plans for improving the quality of life for local residents. What sort of 'development' do we want? Why does South Sydney Council not recognize the 'community development' work of the graffiti Hall of Fame projects? Tony Spanos has acted as a role model for many disadvantaged youth in the South Sydney area, by winning the battle in court it will prove to the youth that there is some justice in the system that has previously have had no faith in.
Tony Spanos for Mayor
Tony Spanos felt he had to get involved in the wider political field as he saw the goodwill created by the inner city Graffiti Hall of Fame being attacked by the forces of development with their profit before people agenda. He recently ran for the seat of South Sydney Council with a pro-youth, conflict resolution pro-environmental stance, to ensure the human touch remains in politics.
Community is Unity
So much contemporary politics is dogged by the dualistic competitive nature of campaigning by tearing strips off the opposition or making false promises. In his time at Graffiti Hall of Fame Tony Spanos has proven his dedication to Youth and community development by sponsoring a myriad of local projects. A vision of a harmonious community can occur by Bringing People Together. He sees the local council's duty is to enable people to take responsibility for the nature of the community they live and work in. As mayor he wanted to set up community structures and processes for Community Consultation, and Empowerment. People must be encouraged to contribute, have a say, and be able to put the democratic outcomes into action.

It's all about direction and channeling energies to constructive outcomes.

Authorised and printed by Tony Spanos, 282 Botany rd, Alexandria 2016
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