What a wonderful
celebration of community activism and council cooperation at the opening of
Stage 1 of the Sherbrooke Family and Children’s Centre today.
I was delighted to be able to speak at the event. The issue of childcare is
very dear to my heart, saving Sherbrooke Children’s Centre was the very reason
I ran for council in the first place.
|James Merlino, Member for Monbulk|
with SOSCC Campaigners,
Jenny and Claire and
Cr Samantha Dunn celebrating
the opening of stage one
of Sherbrooke Family &
It was wonderful to
regale in some of the stories of the Save Our Sherbrooke Children’s Centre
(SOSCC) and acknowledge the efforts of those parents who campaigned
relentlessly to save the much loved council run, community based, long day care
in the Dandenong Ranges. If we hadn’t got angry and active then we wouldn’t be
celebrating today’s journey.
I pay tribute to those
parents who made who gave up a substantial part of their lives to saving this
centre, you should feel very proud of your achievements for without you we
wouldn’t be standing here today. It is wonderful to see our vision of
integrated children’s services become a reality.
|SOSCC members, Jenny Lindstedt, Samantha Dunn|
and Claire Ferres-Miles. This SOLD sign was one of the
props created by SOSCC back in 2005, to be used for
a media stunt in another attempt to save the centre.
I was very pleased to be able tear it up in a symbolic
gesture of celebration.
We certainly wont be needing it anymore.
It was important to
acknowledge the SOSCC group, they were instrumental in putting up a hard fight
to council to save this
centre and campaigned relentlessly.
- Claire Ferres-Miles
- Christiaan O’Dea
- Matthew Clarke
- Faorligh Hunter
- Kevin Jose
- Peter Kinrade
- Jenny Lindstedt
- Ingrid Wood
- Matthew Clear
- Hans Damen
- Samantha Dunn
Of course a lot of
effort has gone into saving the centre but it wouldn’t be possible without
funding and this project is a great example of the three tiers of government
working together. I acknowledge my colleagues on council who unanimously
supported an allocation of over $5million towards this project. We were also
assisted by Jason Wood (Federal member for Latrobe at the time), with a grant
of $1.6million and by James Merlino (State member for Monbulk) who’s office not
only assisted the SOSCC greatly, the state government also provided a grant to
council of $0.5million.
|Sherbrooke Family & Children's Centre chef, Antonio|
did an amazing job with this cake to celebrate the
opening of stage one. Antonio is passionate about
providing the children with nutritious and diverse
food selections and is much loved by children
(and parents too!).
The development of the
centre has been quite a journey, including a 2 year stint meeting regularly on
the Project Control Group (PCG), touring centres around Melbourne to work out
what were the best options for this centre and working with community around
issues as well as formal public consultation sessions.
I particularly thank PCG
- Chris Clerici – the Shire’s
- Karen Bowen – our Childcare
- Alissya McKinnon –
Sherbrooke Children’s Centre Coordinator
- Sue Lakeland – Upwey Community
- Tammy Dance – Upwey Pre School
- Claire Ferres-Miles - Sherbrooke
Children’s Centre Parents Advisory Committee Rep
- Malcolm Aspinall – Upwey
- and Sam Shattock &
Peter Sandow – architects for the project.
|Cr Samantha Dunn and |
architect Sam Shattock. Sam
has been instrumental in the
design of the centre and has
done a great job incorporating
the needs of the centre, working
with the community as well as
designing a facility to fit into a
The architects have come
up with a wonderful design, it is a great example of what a municipal building
should be, a statement of aspiration and a reflection of the community.
I have no doubt there is
a demand for this model of childcare in the Dandenongs, the current waiting list consists of
150 families, more than 150 children. I look forward to seeing the project completed and the facility bursting with children getting the best start in life.
Labels: cr samantha dunn, sherbrooke childrens centre, soscc, yarra ranges