By Steph McNicol
A VITAL community space in Wallan officially opened its navy-blue doors to the community on Friday with a celebration that included stalls, food and a smoking ceremony.
The Wallan Future Hub, formerly a police station, received $188,000 funding as part of the State Government’s Pick My Project, and will be home to many community activities and resources.
The hub is a collaboration between Love in Action, Wallan Rovers and Ranges Community Leadership, Centre for Continuing Education and Wallan Secondary College. Community members come together to celebrate the opening.
Wallan Future Hub facilitator Celina Grech said she was excited to see what the hub could do for the community.
“What I’m really excited about is working with community members about what they want to see here,” she said.
“Some of the things already happening are, we have a book club that meets here once a month, I’ve been chatting to a group who have a Facebook group and they run table-top games but haven’t had anywhere they could meet – they’ve got 70 members.
“The thing that’s unique about the Wallan Future Hub is that it’s a community-driven space. We don’t have a set agenda about what programs we need to run, and we don’t have limitations on what we can do.”
Ms Grech said the hub was about what the community wanted and needed.
“Wallan is growing so fast, and there isn’t enough space for people to utilise because we’ve got one neighbourhood house and it’s not big enough for everyone. We just want to add to the community, we don’t want to take away from anything that anyone else is doing,” she said.
“We’ve been doing a lot of stuff with the youth council as well and we really want to engage with young people and the high school kids, we had some kids from Wallan Secondary down here today to help us assemble chairs and paint outside.
“It’s about empowering people and giving them skills they may not already have, and helping their ideas come to life.”
Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green, along with other representatives, helped unveil the new Wallan Future Hub on behalf of Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes.
“Congratulations to all the partners here that have brought this together. I suspect that the number of people you have here is indicative of the fact the community wanted something like this and were crying out for something like it,” Ms Green said.
“I think it was a great choice to go for the police blue, it’s a place we’re all going to want to walk into, rather than before maybe we didn’t want to because it might have meant we were in trouble.
“But if you are in trouble, you can certainly walk in here and you’ll be able to get help. Seems like every time I’ve spoken to Celina or the other partners they’ve had another brilliant idea about what can be done here.”
Love in Action founder Jeremy Scrivens thanked everyone involved for their support.
“We want to encourage people who are looking for something else, to come into the hub and start a conversation about what they care about. Thank you Mitchell Shire and thank you Wallan community,” he said.
For anyone interested in being part of Wallan Future Hub, email Celina Grech at email@example.com or visit the hub at 36 High Street, Wallan.