November 17, 2016
I rise to acknowledge the 11 Neighbourhood Houses in my electorate of Wills and to inform the chamber about the wonderful services they provide to the public. These facilities serve as community hubs and are committed to enriching lives through continuing education programs and a raft of social activities. Last month I had the opportunity to visit the Sussex Street Neighbourhood House in the suburb of Pascoe Vale. At Sussex Street, like all Neighbourhood Houses, they approach the concept of community enrichment in the most holistic of ways. Computer classes allow workers the chance to hone essential skills for the modern workforce and empower them to prosper at every stage of their careers. They offer English as an Additional Language classes to assist members of our vibrant multicultural population. They offer respite from our fast-paced world at their health and wellbeing events, including meditation classes. They offer an array of outlets to satisfy the creative instincts and, of course, there are the social offerings such as the choir, the book club, the regular Scrabble tournaments that so many in the community relish.
Vic Isell and Thea Bates, who manage the Sussex Street Neighbourhood House, showed me the plans for their new facilities, which will further expand their capacity to offer value to the public. But the blood in the veins of all neighbourhood houses is public funding. I look forward to helping all neighbourhood houses in Wills get access to grants to promote their good work and great cause.