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Rotary club takes over Kilmore op shop

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

The Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell now operates the Recycle Opportunity Shop in Kilmore, following the closure of the Transition Village Wallan, TVW, on June 30.

TVW closed after the committee officially revoked its charity status.

TVW chief executive Judy Clarke said the closure was due to several reasons, including loss of fundraising opportunities as grant bodies pivoted towards supporting well-established charities, the COVID-19 pandemic affecting TVW’s capacity to fundraise, and building costs continuing to increase.

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Ms Clarke has also moved away from Melbourne, and no replacement was able to be found to fill her role.

The Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell gathered with volunteers at the Recycled Upcycled Opportunity Shop, RUOSP, in Sydney Street, Kilmore, for an afternoon tea to celebrate the transfer on July 6.

“Southern Mitchell Rotary was a supporter of the TVW project from its inception with several donations,” Ms Clarke said.

“The principles of Southern Mitchell Rotary and TVW overlapped in many ways in terms of actions in local community and sustainability.

“They were approached by a TVW committee member and the negotiations to transfer management of the RUOSP from TVW to Southern Mitchell Rotary began. The transfer was successful.”

Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell president Rose King welcomed all attendees to the afternoon tea and provided an updated of how they would continue to support and aid homeless and vulnerable people in the area.

Ms King also recognised the work of Ms Clarke and the team from TVW in providing services and support for the homeless and said they hoped to continue the same work into the future.

Ms Clarke said a primary aim of the TVW committee during the closure process was to enable the continued operation of the op shop.

“It is a tangible legacy of the TVW for the community, which has worked so hard to support the op shop and the TVW project [and] is a practical demonstration of what can be achieved by a dedicated, caring community in support of its vulnerable members,” she said.

RUOSP is now managed by a committee consisting of Kit Holland, Ian Dempsey, David James, Lisa Walker and Tony Speers.

TVW has also entrusted the Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell with money to develop a possible hygiene station providing showers, toilets and laundry facilities for the homeless.

Ms Clarke said being the chief executive of the TVW for the past five years had been a great joy and learning experience.

“TVW led the way in its approach to homelessness by integrating accommodation, holistic support with climate change adaption actions and community re-integration,” she said.

“The model is there for any other interested groups to use with information on the TVW Facebook page.”

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