Still Local, Still Open Article

We’ve launched #stilllocalstillopen, a series that shines a light on our friends who are keeping our neighbourhood vibrant and supported during these challenging times.

If you know of a group or business doing great things in Redfern and Sydney inner-city, email us and let us know.



FBi Radio

We spoke with Nikki Brogan, Managing Director.

What is FBi doing to help support the community right now?

Despite the ever changing government restrictions, you can hear FBi in all the regular ways you might usually tune in. We’re still broadcasting live – there has been a huge amount of work that has gone into keeping our volunteer community safe as they create interesting and engaging content to soundtrack your isolation.

Building on our regular quota of at least 50% Australian music, with half of that from Sydney, we’ve significantly upped the local music quota in solidarity and support for Australian artists. We’re also getting the word out about incredible local businesses who are innovating in the face of adversity and pivoting to new models – take away, home delivery, live streams and more. If you’re one of these businesses and want to get in touch, please send us a message on Facebook.

Most importantly, FBi is keeping you company! Between new music and information you can trust, our broadcasters and staff are creating space for important conversations. Connection is a weird concept in this time, so we’re bringing people together over the airwaves. Right now things feel out of our control, but we can help preserve local culture. Community radio plays a really important role in doing so.

As we spend more time indoors, what are you doing for inspiration?

There are so many excellent, intelligent makers and organisations getting innovative and creating fun offerings. I’m excited to see what ideas come next! Party-starters The House of Mince hosted a 24 hour virtual rave over the weekend stacked with loads of local talent, NY creative Stefan Hunt is selling Isolation Creations on Instagram (bad hand drawn tattoos included!), Melbourne’s Self Practice is connecting through virtual tarot readings, and local yoga faves Egg Of The Universe have transitioned their classes to online.

When all I want to do is leave the house, I’ve been reading – Inner West Library has opened up free access to their digital collection. There are some really beautiful virtual tours of our national parks as well. This morning I “visited” Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, until I can really get there once this is all over.

What is your favourite thing about our local community?

I acknowledge that the land I live and work on, the same that FBi broadcasts from, is the unceded land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. Redfern specifically holds significance as a site of resistance and resilience for First Nations people, and as a meeting place for sharing knowledge, stories and song. From our studios at the birthplace of Blak Theatre in our country, FBi is privileged to reach Sydney and beyond through broadcast. Our community of volunteers, broadcasters and content creators hope to honour and contribute to this history through the development and training of young local voices and by giving emerging stories, songs and ideas a platform to be heard. As a community radio station, we can’t do what we do without the vibrancy and support of local communities.

Listen to FBi Radio here:



Two Good Co.

We spoke to Rob Caslick, Founder.

What is your business doing to help the community right now?

We set up Two Good Co. as a way to serve the community’s most vulnerable. Right now our community needs us more than ever before. How do we meet the increased demands of the community as well as operate as lean as possible to ensure Two Good is still standing at the end of all of this? We’ve split our team in two to reduce the size of the team as well as build contingency should one team require isolation. We’ve also launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds and this week we launch our take away menu (Two Good Two Go) to try and create revenue which we can use to donate more meals.

As we spend more time indoors, what are you doing for inspiration?

I’m being inspired by not looking at the news and thinking about the rising need of the community in which we serve. Also Instagram! I love architecture, design and branding and am certainly getting my fill right now. I’m also inspired by an opportunity to look at the world through a different lens. To rethink the way we do things and attempt to do them better than before.

What is your favourite thing about our local community?

I love the desire the community has to support each other. It’s our local community spirit that will help us get through these crazy times and be more connected and vibrant on the other side.

Learn more about Two Good Co. and check out Two Good To Go here:



Paramount House Hotel
Surry Hills

We spoke with Aimee Baylis, Marketing & Communications Manager.

What is your business doing to help the community right now? 

Hospitality is in our DNA and so it’s been really hard to see the venues in our neighbourhood struggle in this uncertain time. With that in mind, the team at PHH came up with ‘Still local, still open’, a project aimed at supporting local businesses by selling vouchers for a collection of venues that people can buy now, spend whenever they want and make sure their favourites are still open for them when this is over. There are two vouchers, a $150 ‘Neighbourhood Pass’ with incredible value from ten Surry Hills venues such as Nomad, Shwarmama, Ester, Chaco Bar to name a few, then a $300 ‘Overnight Pass’ which includes the same lineup but adds in a night’s accommodation at Paramount House Hotel (we’re still open and welcoming guests). We set the project  up to be scalable with a view to help businesses in other cities too

As we spend more time indoors, what are you doing for inspiration?

I honestly don’t love being indoors, but for inspiration I have been taking all the things I wold normally do and adapting them to my new limits – such as cooking with what’s still available in the supermarkets, connecting with friends in other parts of the world, and taking an alarmingly high interest in the order of my linen cupboard.

What is your favourite thing about our local community?

I love seeing how nimble everyone in the local community really is. When hit with such uncertain and unfair difficulties, it’s inspiring to see the rate at which everyone has adapted their business models and campaigns, and all with a positive attitude that wants to see our neighbourhood thrive. The local brewery is now distilling hand sanitiser, the cafe around the corner is doing drive-by coffee, the galleries are conducting virtual tours, and so many restaurants are offering delivery or stay-at-home bundles of supplies. It reminds me that our community has so many creative, and hard-working people behind each business who make this place so great.

Learn more about Paramount House Hotel here:


Cohab Coffee
Oxford Street, Darlinghurst (2 mins from St. Vincent’s Hosptial)

We spoke with Christine Mcallister, Owner.

What is your business doing to help support the community right now?

Just over two weeks ago I launched a Pay it Forward campaign where people in the community can shout a health care worker a coffee, or buy lunch for someone who has lost their job or buy a batch of soup that I will make and distribute to people without a home. Since launching, almost 700 coffees have been Paid Forward as well as heaps of soup! I get to brighten up a health worker’s day by showing them they have the community’s support, people get to experience making a contribution and I get to stay in business! Win, win, win! Today I got to give lunch to two guys without a home. I told someone who came to my shop that story and they cried – everyone is really moved by the generosity that gets passed on in this simple campaign.

As we spend more time indoors, what are you doing for inspiration?

I get inspired by who I need to ‘be’ in the world. So if I need to be a leader, or be creative, what would someone who is being that way do? I get inspired by communities I’m in. It was a zoom call with fellow female stand-up comedians that was the genesis of Pay it Forward. We have a weekly call where we create, exchange ideas and offer support to each other – something that wasn’t happening before Covid! Lastly I get inspired by my 4-year-old and her creation of many different types of games with rules made up on the spot. To be as excited, enthused and present as her – that’s inspiring!

What is your favourite thing about our local community?

Neighbourliness. I have been so bowled over and humbled by the community spirit during this. People want to contribute, sometimes you just jeed to give them a way to. And there have been so many stories and initiatives of community, contribution and neighbourliness – that’s what I’ll will be remembering when I think back to Covid 2020!

Learn more about Cohab Coffee and contribute to Christine’s Pay-It-Forward campaign here.