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As we say farewell to Bec Smith as coordinator of the centre, Norlane Community Centre welcomes not one, but two new coordinators in Diane Pont and Esther Konings-Oakes. Both Di and Esther bring a wealth of knowledge to their new position. Both have been active in community involvement and development and supporting the 3214 community for many years. We look forward to working with both Di and Esther.
We would also like to take the opportunity to say thanks to Bec for her commitment, time and effort that she has put in to the Norlane Community Centre over the past two years We wish Bec well in her new position as coordinator at Koroit Creek Neighbourhood House.
Our 2018 Annual General Meeting was recently held at the centre. We were lucky enough to have three lovely ladies from the community as our guest speakers. Each spoke about their involvement with the Norlane Community Centre. Margaret Devlin who has been a member of the centre for many years and a weekly participant in the centres Craft group and more recently the Tai Chi group.
Margaret spoke about how she came to the centre, after her retirement in 1991. Anne Hancock who is the facilitator of the Norlane Commuity Kitchen is new to the centre. Anne along with other members of the NCK group started using the centres kitchen in April.
The group meets on a Friday to prepare, cook and share meals. Esther Konings-Oakes has only recently been back at the centre in the last year, but was previously here many years ago. Esther spoke about how the Norlane Neighbourhood House (as it was formally known) was formed. Esther also spoke about the connection between Norlane and Cloverdale Community Centres. It was also great to see many of our valued members attend the meeting to show their support.
We are nearing the end of another busy year and what better way to celebrate than lunch with our volunteers at the centre. We shared a lovely lunch and told some silly Christmas – cracker jokes. “what do you call santa when he get’s stuck in the chimney?”… Claus-trophobic!
Here at Norlane Community Centre volunteers are at the heart of everything do. We simply could not manage without them. So a VERY BIG THANK YOU to all our volunteers who continue to support us in the garden, in reception, on the board of management and in other activities. We appreciate you all so much. A safe and happy festive season everyone – see you in 2019!
On 31st October 2018 we held a digital expo at Norlane Community Centre. The expo was our first step in bridging the digital divide in our community and provided an opportunity for the community to engage with fun digital technologies and experiences. One of the great components of the expo was that students from St Thomas Aquinas undertook training with local library staff and delivered the expo on our behalf – creating exciting intergenerational learning.
ABS census data and the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADI), shows that the Norlane community has some of the poorest rates of home internet access and digital access in the State. This “digital divide” exacerbates and adds another layer to the disadvantage experienced by our community members – in fact, low levels of income, education and employment are shown to sometimes determine digital exclusion.
Increasingly, engagement with digital technology is being understood as a human right, as a tool for social, financial, educational, workplace and civic engagement. Furthermore, government services and supports continuously require individuals to access and report through online services and apps.
Unless we are able to increase access to and knowledge (literacy) of digital devices and services this digital divide will continue to widen.
The Digital Expo aimed to foster greater confidence and cultivate community connectedness as well as highlight the ongoing needs of the community for support with digital access.
The project is built on the premise that our local community members should be able to make full use of digital technologies – to manage their health and wellbeing, access education and services, organise their finances.
We will also used the expo as a forum for gathering information from the community about their access and support needs.
Around 50 community members attended the event and had a wonderful time. The overwhelming reflection was that cost was the biggest barrier to people accessing the internet in their homes. We will continue to do work in this area to ensure that the digital divide in Norlane is addressed.