The official opening of the Naracoorte Community Hub last week could herald a new era in the provision of services to Naracoorte.
The opening of the hub, celebrated in conjunction with the relocation of the Naracoorte High School Independent Learning Centre, is the result of years of consultation and collaboration on the community’s needs.
The former Movies on Main building on Smith St is now aiming to become a one stop shop for educational and other support services in the district.
The hub’s stated aim is: “To introduce an environment of holistic and shared community response, to support emotional and social well-being of children, young people and their families.”
Limestone Coast Flexible Learning Options area manager Caroline Hill said it was a huge team effort to establish the hub and it promised great benefits for the district.
Speaking at the opening, Ms Hill said: “We’re proud of the initiative and how it was pulled together very quickly.
“The committee has worked for 12 months looking at options but it has been six years of collation, listening to the community about what they wanted in Naracoorte. (The aim is) identifying needs to support our most marginalised and isolated young people. We needed the services, now we have the space.”
Ms Hill said now there was a tangible hub for services to have a permanent presence, the next stage of meeting community needs could follow.
“Build it and they will come,” she said. “Now we’ve built it and I will work hard to bring them.”
Ms Hill said the project would not have happened without the can-do attitude of the locals driving it.
“You are real champions in getting behind things,” she said. “Please now use it, and promote it.”
Mayor Erika Vickery, a member of the Naracoorte Lucindale Community Care Network, agreed the opening of the hub was the culmination of a long period of consultation, and of efforts by the hub steering committee to streamline the services available in the area.
“We’ve been in conversation with the community for a long time about what they wanted and needed,” she said.
“We found there were lots and lots of things happening, but no one knew about it. Over the years they have been in Naracoorte but they haven’t been visible, people haven’t known they were here.
“We looked at ideas and one of the visions was the community hub.”
Naracoorte High School principal Kym Grant congratulated the ILC staff including campus manager Tammy Schinckel on their move, and said the ILC added immeasurable value to the school’s suite of services in keeping disengaged and challenged students on the educational path.