Axe falls on centre funding
A BELMONT community centre and its popular art classes face uncertain futures after a funding cut was revealed just weeks before Christmas.
Jacaranda Community Centre receives its funding from the Aboriginal Family Support and School Inclusion program under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, which ends on December 31.
Chief executive Lyndsey Fitzgerald said no evaluation or research was done before she was told in midNovember that funding would not continue.
Ms Fitzgerald said she was offered a six-month transitional or extension period to move members and volunteers elsewhere.
“They’re not toys or furniture to be moved around, they’re people,” she said.
The centre offers art and craft programs, such as its International Day of People with Disability art exhibition last Wednesday. Artist-in-residence Sheryl Chant said the displayed works were created during the Wednesday art classes this past year.
“I try do activities that everyone can do, so they’re inclusive,” she said.
“At the moment the art class is so popular we’ve had to cap it at about 15 to 20 people and we’ve got a waitlist for next year, which is dependent on funding.”
Ms Fitzgerald said the art program was to showcase the social inclusion for all participants living with or without any disability.
“Social inclusion programs don’t seem to get support or funding,” she said.
Ms Fitzgerald said she would keep fighting for funding but asked the public to help it provide for families.
“Food shortage is widespread and it’ll be widespread for Christmas as well,” she said.
Food can be dropped off at Jacaranda Community Care on Epsom Avenue, Belmont, or call 9477 4346.
Artist-in-residence Sheryl Chant displaying ‘squiggle pots’ with art class participants Jacqui Carrington and Barbara Williams.