Edward (Ed) Ginzburg, community activist, was born in 1967 in the Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan. When his parents separated, his mother took him to Odessa, where she remarried, then to Russia. When Ed was 12, the family arrived in Sydney. Shortly after, the family was relocated to public housing in Waterloo, where he spent most of his teen years.
The Coronation Recreation Centre (City of Sydney funded centre) became his second home, the staff his effective parents. Through support and encouragement of those staff, he enrolled in Art School, and thereafter they offered him part-time work in 1989. By 1994 he was a full-time staff member, providing services to the community that he grew up with, pursuing opportunities outside the status quo and learning how to best engage with a mixed audience and demographics.
One centre where Ed worked was Maybanke. That was in the ’90s, working with local residents who mostly lived in public housing. The community was small but strong. Community dinners, small scale events, cultural and recreational programs were the key to engaging with the locals. The small Maybanke centre was alive with activities.
Twenty years later when he relieved a manager in the Pyrmont Centre (bought and refurbished by the City in 1993), he was struck by the frustration of current residents. The area had gone through major urban redevelopment, but this didn’t reflect at ground level in the community centre. When he took the substantive post, he seized the opportunity to work with the community again and make the centre the City’s liveliest facility.
Ed has lived in Kyrgyzstan, in public housing, in Point Piper, and on the streets: he has been a rebel, maverick and a manager, and he brings this wide experience to our complex vibrant community.
“We shape the community; thereafter the community shapes you”