Glen Park Community Centre, based in Bayswater North, near the boundary with the City of Knox, differs from most other community houses through its strong emphasis on community development alongside the many courses it runs. The centre provides a community facility and meeting hub within one of the lower socio-economic areas within Maroondah and is a key community meeting point for local residents within Maroondah, Knox and the Yarra Ranges.
Glen Park’s welcoming and friendly atmosphere is due in part to its cafe, which is staffed and managed by volunteers. This friendly atmosphere has been known as the ‘spirit of Glen Park’ and reflects the centre’s emphasis in welcoming people with disabilities, as well as communities that are socially isolated.
While community house courses receive State Government funding, community development does not receive similar assistance, despite it having positive benefits through ensuring socially connected communities and providing support networks.
As a result, there is a current financial shortfall which may force Glen Park to close its cafe and reduce a part-time community development position that is provided by the community house. To address this situation, Glen Park Community Centre held an information briefing this evening to identify potential sources of funding.
It was encouraging to see the meeting being attended by Maroondah Councillors, as well as representatives from State and Federal Government and the Department of Planning and Community Development. Glen Park provides a critical service to the Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges community and it is essential that its community development emphasis continues.
Maroondah must assist Glen Park Community Centre in finding a sustainable basis for its community development activities and I offer my support as a local Councillor to assist in achieving this objective.
There is a particular need for Knox Council to take an interest in the community house and provide funding assistance. Almost half of the participants are Knox residents and community facilities such as Glen Park, should not be restricted by arbitrary council boundaries.
All levels of government, including local councils that benefit from such facilities, must work together to encourage social inclusion and civic participation. It would be a shame to diminish the ‘spirit of Glen Park’ due to a lack of suitable funding.
For more information on Glen Park Community Centre please visit www.glenparkcc.com.au