Fed­eral back­ing for par­tic­i­pa­tion cen­tre

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Many years of ad­vo­cat­ing for ac­knowl­edg­ment of vol­un­teer­ing as a key so­cial driver has paid off for the Wim­mera’s Cen­tre for Par­tic­i­pa­tion – to the tune of al­most $800,000.

Sup­port­ing ‘ef­fec­tive community gov­er­nance’ has also helped the cen­tre at­tract the gov­ern­ment money.

The wind­fall is part of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Strong and Re­silient Com­mu­ni­ties, SARC, grants pro­gram.

So­cial Ser­vices Min­is­ter Dan Te­han, in of­fi­cially an­nounc­ing the fund­ing, said money pro­vided through the pro­gram helped or­gan­i­sa­tions to build strong, re­silient, co­he­sive and har­mo­nious com­mu­ni­ties.

“It will en­sure that in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties have the op­por­tu­nity to thrive, be free from in­tol­er­ance and dis­crim­i­na­tion, and have the ca­pac­ity to re­spond to emerg­ing needs and chal­lenges,” he said.

“I was pleased to ad­vise the Cen­tre for Par­tic­i­pa­tion that it had been se­lected as a pre­ferred provider for this grant round.”

Mem­ber for Mallee Andrew Broad had let de­tails sur­round­ing the fund­ing de­ci­sion slip dur­ing Wim­mera Ma­chin­ery Field Days and said the money would ‘turbo-charge’ vol­un­teer­ing in the re­gion.

The money will go to­wards a $300,000 two-year re­search project into ‘How vol­un­teerism im­pacts so­cial co­he­sion’ and a $487,500 ‘Build­ing Co­he­sive and Re­silient Com­mu­ni­ties’ project.

Cen­tre for Par­tic­i­pa­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Julie Pet­tet said re­ceiv­ing fund­ing for community-led projects was won­der­ful.

“But to re­ceive both of these is ab­so­lutely amaz­ing,” she said.

The Cen­tre for Par­tic­i­pa­tion was one of 16 or­gan­i­sa­tions across Aus­tralia in­vited to sub­mit a closed re­search ten­der based on ‘How vol­un­teerism im­pacts so­cial co­he­sion’.

“Our pro­posal went on to be one of six na­tional re­search pro­pos­als that were se­lected,” Ms Pet­tet said.

“Over two years, we will work with col­leagues from Think Im­pact Mel­bourne to de­velop a greater un­der­stand­ing of, and re­port on, how vol­un­teer­ing im­pacts so­cial co­he­sion and the dif­fer­ence vol­un­teer pro­grams make on lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“To en­sure recog­nised this re­search is Aus­tralia-wide, mem­bers of the Na­tional Net­work of Vol­un­teer Re­source Cen­tres will form a ref­er­ence group and con­trib­ute to the re­search.

Gov­er­nance

Ms Pet­tet said the Build­ing Co­he­sive and Re­silient Com­mu­ni­ties project would help the cen­tre build ‘co­he­sive and re­silient’ com­mu­ni­ties by pro­vid­ing a Good Gov­er­nance pro­gram in part­ner­ship with four western Vic­to­rian or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“Test­ing of the Good Gov­er­nance pro­gram has taken place, as a re­sult of the learn­ing and sub­se­quent work with So­cial Traders, and the pro­gram has been re­fined. We are now able to roll it out as a pro­gram,” she said.

“Men­tors will be matched with a community or­gan­i­sa­tion for 12 months, dur­ing which time they will share their skills and knowl­edge and, hope­fully, as­sist the or­gan­i­sa­tions to achieve suc­cess­ful out­comes.”

The Cen­tre for Par­tic­i­pa­tion is work­ing with groups such as North­ern Grampians Shire Coun­cil and a mul­ti­cul­tural group in Bal­larat to un­der­take the next phase of rolling out the pro­gram.

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