Naracoorte Pop-up community centre a hit

ACTIVITIES: Di Caught sews a bunting at the Naracoorte pop-up community centre this week. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION
ACTIVITIES: Di Caught sews a bunting at the Naracoorte pop-up community centre this week. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION

A two-day pop-up community centre gave Naracoorte locals a taste of what could be ... and they loved it.

Community Centres SA CEO Kylie Fergusen said the pop-up centre had been a hit, with dozens of locals popping in to take part in workshops, share ideas or help do an activity.

"We were making buntings and the pompoms and that was really because we know to have a chat about something important, it's good to be creating while you're talking because not everyone wants to sit in a workshop," she said.

"I haven't checked the numbers but there were quite a few bunches of schoolkids coming through and then there were some of the new arrivals.

"There are a lot of comments about people really wanting a central community space, lots of comments about why people want it as a place to connect up with others, and lots of ideas about what it could be, so I think that was incredibly successful."

Ms Fergusen said a series of different workshops to explore different parts of a community centre were well-attended.

"In one activity, we identified over 300 local connections of local community champions who might interested in getting involved.

"I love that activity because it shows that when people feel a bit of a burden of having to put their name to something and they are already volunteering in so many ways, it show that all you have to do is pick up the phone and have a chat with someone else who is equally as passionate and ask then to help out.

CRAFT: Lou Murphy and Martina Kasongo with some pop-poms they made at the pop-up community centre this week. Picture: ELISABETH CHAMPION

CRAFT: Lou Murphy and Martina Kasongo with some pop-poms they made at the pop-up community centre this week. Picture: ELISABETH CHAMPION

"This exercise is about getting communities to identify all their connections and I have never had this response ever working in this field in 30 years. .

"Typically you have much less connections.

"This is absolutely golden, this just shows the strength of community connections and local community champions and leaders is absolutely massive."

"That is in itself the foundations of a great community space."

The workshops finished up by establishing a core group of volunteers to pursue the idea further and Ms Fergusen and her team will prepare a report from information gathered over the two days to help move the project forward.

"It's very clear there is a very big community need for a community centre and lots of ideas about what could be in it and some very clear ways forwards about how to start that process.

"If the Naracoorte community decide this is something they want to move forward with, there is certainly a need and a bunch of pretty committed people that want to explore it further.

"We really enjoyed our few days here - we are blown away by how passionate and giving people are in Naracoorte."

PAINTING: Students paint paper dolls at the pop-up community centre on Monday. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION

PAINTING: Students paint paper dolls at the pop-up community centre on Monday. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION