Celebrate Neighbourhood House Week 2022
‘Building resilience by bringing people together’.
The Shire of Buloke’s Neighbourhood Houses will be opening their doors for morning teas and special activities to celebrate Neighbourhood House Week 2022 (9 - 15 May).
The week recognises the very important contributions over 1,000 neighbourhood houses make to local communities across Australia.
Neighbourhood Houses, Community Centres, Resource and Learning Centres all play a significant and meaningful part in hundreds of communities in Victoria, with on average 200,000 Victorians visiting one each week. Funding to over 95% of houses comes from the State Government's Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, with other sources of income derived from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Local Government, Federal Government, grants, and funds generated by neighbourhood houses themselves (e.g. room hire fees, printing).
Nicole Battle, President of the national peak body Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association, said this year’s Neighbourhood House Week theme was about re-emerging and rebuilding a harmonious and resilient community after the lockdowns that saw so many Australians isolated.
“I am so proud to lead such a resilient, responsive and adaptive sector, made up of so many selfless and hardworking individuals,” Ms Battle said.
“Neighbourhood and community houses and centres have truly demonstrated their weight in gold over the past two and a half years. While so many other services closed during the lockdowns, Victorian neighbourhood houses stepped up. 96 per cent of neighbourhood houses continued to deliver in varying capacities, and 60 per cent ran food relief programs, responding to a significant rise in demand.
“Other services our houses provided included childcare, remote adult education, home deliveries, wellbeing calls, letterbox drops, online social gatherings, technology support and device hire. Neighbourhood houses also played a valuable role during the rollout of the vaccine program, creating awareness and combating vaccine hesitancy. Some even hosted pop-up vaccination sites at their premises to make the vaccine more accessible to vulnerable community members. This Neighbourhood House Week we acknowledge this incredible effort and the staff, volunteers and community members who made it all happen.
However, now as we begin to re-emerge, we are looking to rebuild those strong social connections that many people lost, building a stronger, more resilient community than ever before.”
Neighbourhood Houses across Buloke Shire will be offering a range of free activities to spotlight the important role in our rural communities that our houses play. Call into your local Neighbourhood House, check out their social media pages and the local printed media to see what your local centre is doing, and join with them in celebrating what makes your community special.
Following a large number of requests, the Charlton Neighbourhood House is pleased to be able to again offer its popular Chemical Handlers Certificate course for those working in the district. If you require your first time certificate, or are one of those who need to be re-acquitted, this is a great opportunity to obtain it without having to travel. With leading course provider ChemCERT training hosting the session, attendees will learn all aspects of chemical storage and handling, as well as applying chemicals to control pests, weeds and diseases.
The Charlton session will be held on Wednesday July 6 between 8:30am and 5:30pm, and will be a terrific opportunity for locals to gain valuable skills in this important area of chemical safety. All enquiries to the Charlton Neighbourhood House
As part of their ‘Explore Buloke’ initiative, the Charlton Neighbourhood House, supported by CASI funding from the Buloke Shire, hosted its second bus trip on Thursday November 25 around the Charlton district. With knowledgeable local Carolyn Olive giving an informative commentary during the day, many interesting venues were visited.
The groups first stop was the Learner Driver Centre where the group took a lap around the track in the bus, while observing students behind the wheel gaining valuable experience towards obtaining their licence.
A warm welcome awaited the group at the North Central Trade School where a tour of the impressive facilities was accompanied by an informative video presentation and a delicious morning tea. The visitors all walked away impressed by this terrific asset for the areas students, many having no idea of this part of Charlton Colleges operation.
The weather continued to be fine for the trip out to Teys Charlton Feedlot, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. An array of new buildings have been, or are under construction, and landscaping works have made significant improvements to the site. The group heard about the scale and day to day operations of the site.
Yeungroon was the next stop, with the historic Yuengroon Hall a popular photography backdrop. Details were given about the planned reinvigoration and memorial due to be commencing in the not to distant future. A short ride later the wind farm was seen from close up, and the scale of these giants was revealed. With a stiff breeze blowing, the power generating turbines were a highlight for many, and the 360 degree panoramic views across the district was stunning.
The bus then made its way to its final destination, Coonooer Bridge to see the historic Church, canon and community hall. Sadly the rain shortened the stay, but not before the church and canons history was detailed.
It was agreed by all on the bus that this had been a great opportunity to see many parts of Charlton and surrounds that are not readily accessible, and that more trips would be appreciated in the future. A huge thankyou goes to all who helped made this a wonderful excursion, specially Brett at the Driver Ed Centre, Jamie and Barry at the Charlton College, Terri from Teys, Peter for his assistance at the Windfarm and Coonooer Bridge, and Carolyn for the work putting the trip together.
An enthusiastic group of Charlton residents enjoyed a visit arranged by the Charlton Neighbourhood House to several of the Shire’s towns last Friday, as the final ‘Explore Buloke’ bus trip was completed. Previous journeys have taken locals from Sea Lake to Yeungroon, and Nullawil to Coonooer Bridge, with lots of interesting places in between. This trip the group left Charlton Travellers Rest and headed towards Donald for a browse around the town. Watchem was the next stop to view the new silo art and a stop at the magnificent Watchem Church. The visitors were grateful to a local volunteer who gave up their time for the impressive inside tour. Final town stop was Birchip to check out the new streetscape works and murals around the town and to enjoy some lunch. The weather was pleasant as the bus dropped in to Tchum Lake for the final stop on the way home.
A big thankyou goes out from Charlton Neighbourhood House to Buloke Shire, and the funding made available through their CASI grant. This money helped subsidize the cost of the bus making the days affordable for everyone. Also, to the various volunteers who assisted on the trips, and the drivers who got everyone around safely.”
Since opening its doors in February 2019, the Charlton Neighbourhood House has seen a broad range of popular services and activities delivered to its residents. Despite the numerous disruptions that COVID-19 presented over the past 2 years, the committee and staff are proud with what has been achieved, often behind regulated closed doors. Overseen by a volunteer Committee of Governance, 3 staff, and dedicated volunteers consistently deliver important services to our community.
A cornerstone of this was the assistance given to many locals to set up the required MyGov app on their mobile devices or obtaining printed documents if they had no smart phone. This was also the case with those unfamiliar with the use of ‘Zoom’ or other apps to keep residents in touch with family and friends, and the $250 Government Power Rebate Scheme.
As the booking point for the Charlton Forum Community Car, this valuable service is coordinated out of the Neighbourhood House, while also being an informal way of keeping in contact with some of the community’s more vulnerable people.
Certificate courses such as Responsible Service of Alcohol, Safe Food Handling, First Aid and CPR, Boat and Personal Watercraft Safety and Barista were all able to be conducted at an affordable price without the need to travel. Social activities included the ever-popular Table for 12, Early Morning Swimming, Gentle Water Exercise, Arts and Photography sessions, social excursions and much more.
The Charlton Neighbourhood House also supports Charlton Youth Group, Charlton Carers Group, various artistic projects around the town, as well as a popular printing service for individuals, businesses and organizations.
Working collaboratively with other Neighbourhood Houses, and across the network of community centres in the Mallee, the Charlton Neighbourhood House looks forward to continuing to deliver to locals and visitors alike information, services, and activities they require, and welcome everyone to join in.
Thanks to assistance from the Victoria Law Foundation, the Charlton Neighbourhood House was able to complete a series of free events celebrating Law Week 2022. Opportunity was available to chat with several visitors to the Neighbourhood House across a variety of fields. This included representatives of Mallee Family Care Community Legal Centre, Buloke Shire Local Laws Officer, and local lawyer Bill Freeman. General information was available on matters ranging from local By-Laws to Wills and Probate, and everything in between. The time put in by the guests was much appreciated by those who dropped by, and many general questions were answered.
For those who were unable to attend, the Charlton Neighbourhood House can direct people to the most suitable contact for those seeking legal advice in the future.”
Charlton was a hive of activity Monday (4th) as two events were launched that are sure to be a drawcard to the town; one for a period of three weeks, the other permanently. At 10am a large crowd assembled in Lions Park at the top of View Street to watch Commodore Greg Yorke, AM, CSC officially open the Sir John Monash Tribute Garden featuring a magnificent mural painted by renowned artist Glenn Downy. This was accompanied by 2 large panels mounted on framework constructed by Joe Durie, telling the story of this great Australians life from his childhood through to his accomplished military and civil career, as well as the History of the Battle of Hamel, often Called ‘Monash’s Masterpiece’. Also prominent in the garden is a piano painted by local artist Darren Mills that features images significant in Monash’s life. Native plantings, playground equipment and a mounted telescope will be developed at a later stage to further enhance the project.
Project partners included the Victorian Governments Department of Veterans Affairs, the Besen Foundation, Regional Development Victoria, Charlton Lions Club (who maintain the garden), Charlton Bendigo Community Bank, Charlton Neighbourhood House, Buloke Shire, GWM Water, Charlton Forum, Charlton Rotary Club, David Price OAM, Charlton RSL Sub-Branch, Charlton Golden Grains Museum, Australian War Memorial, Shrine of Remembrance, Rotary Club of Melbourne and Scotch College. Also present was Charlton RSL Sub-Branch Padre Reverand Judi Bird who gave a blessing for the project and led a prayer for the fallen.
Locals and visitors are encouraged to visit the gardens located at the top of View and Currie Streets and spend some time enjoying the magnificent views, and learning about the amazing life of service Sir John Monash gave to Australia.
Following the official opening, everyone was invited to head to the Charlton Shire Hall for refreshments and a very special exhibition opening. Charlton has been very fortunate to secure for three weeks the Shrine of Remembrances travelling exhibition, ‘Changed forever, legacies of conflict.’ This amazing selection of artworks features work by both former Australian Defence Force personnel and refugees who had made a home after leaving their wartime countries to settle in Australia. The moving stories cover more recent conflicts from East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and many more, and are all accompanied by informative panels backgrounding the artists history, and motives behind their work.
Introduced by Shire Mayor, Daryl Warren, Shrine of CEO Mr Dean Lee officially opened the exhibition and praised the work of local volunteers who not only helped assemble the exhibition, but also who have given up their time to man it over its period in Charlton. The audience present was also fortunate to be able to listen to Mornington Peninsula artist, and former soldier and award winner James Farquharson tell of his very personal experiences that led to his involvement in the project.
The exhibition opens Fridays through to Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm until July 26, and is free of charge. Group bookings are welcome and can be arranged by calling 0473 759 456.