Coordinator’s News

December 2019

I love looking to the future and planning but I also love reminiscing. Over the last few weeks, in preparation for the celebration of 30 years of SpringDale, I have devoted many hours to reading the minutes of SpringDale’s Committee.

Many names cropped up a number of times during the 30 year time span. Many people have played many roles and many continue to support SpringDale 30 years on. Our statistics reveal the impact that we are having within our community and the stories enliven the value that people bestow upon the activities in which they participate.

Sincere thanks to Sue O’Connor, Brenda Platt, Lucy Pope, Marita Thurman and many more for their thousands of hours of devotion in bringing the idea of SpringDale to reality. Thank you to the 114 people who have served our community on the SpringDale Committee over the last 30 years. Thanks to the hundreds of tutors who have educated our community, thanks to our hundreds of group leaders who have led their groups, thanks to our thousands of members, participants, volunteers and staff, who make SpringDale such a special place. Some of our tutors have been internationally famous – invited by us to run classes in wellness topics of ortho-bionomy and psoas muscle and a felting guru. All have inspired people to go on to great achievements – you can see the results through the felting exhibitions that we run.

People from various political persuasions have participated in activities at SpringDale, John Brumby, as Premier handed out certificates to our Homework Group participants and Dennis Napthine launched our Writer’s Group collection called Harmony 10. Our current Prime Minister Scott Morrision visited last year while I was on holidays in Tasmania – I saw a yellow room with 4 blue doors and realized it was our hall.

Our spaces have evolved over the years from only rented spaces to a room in the Drysdale Bush Nursing house to our relocated housing commission house which cost $2,000 for the house and $6,000 to relocate it in 1992, to having an extra Room and then absorbing the community hall and eventually the renovation to link the centre together. City of Greater Geelong have just renovated our toilets and office areas to make them both more accessible for people in wheelchairs. The projects we have delivered include a variety of festivals, exhibitions, advocacy for the Drysdale Bypass, and for understanding autism. We have helped people’s ideas come to life and have been thanked for making dreams come true and through our Mens’ Cooking Groups we have been thanked by daughters for giving dad back to name a few compliments.

We continue to build on the very solid foundations of those who came before us. As with all good stories we have had our highs and our lows but we continue to push forward with more than 50 special interest groups holding hundreds of sessions each month, 20 tutors holding hundreds of classes each term, hundreds of hours of community development and service being invested each month and more than 1000 people through our doors each week – we are a vibrant hub of activity and information, service and advocacy, inspiration and activation.

We have developed hundreds of partnerships with government departments, philanthropic organisations, businesses, community organisations, sporting groups, schools and individuals. Each partnership is based on mutual respect and shared benefit. This is another aspect of our community networking and strengthening.

All this happens through the curation of SpringDale volunteers and staff. We have and will continue to support the community in all aspects of community strengthening and capacity building into the future. SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre – where ideas grow and people flourish. 30 years strong.

Thank you all for the parts you have played and will play in our history and our future.

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