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The little centre meeting the big needs of the community

It has been two years since the first community centre in 30 years was built in Ipswich in one of the city’s fastest growing suburbs.

The Redbank Plains Community Centre has turned two and despite its young age has forged a strong connection with the community.

Ipswich City Council and the State Government opened the $1.9 million Redbank Plains Community Centre in May 2018 after two years of community consultation.

The milestone also means the longitudinal study that measures the impact of the community centre over a period of time will be reopened again for residents to complete.

This survey, to be launched this week, will be compared to previous milestone surveys to set the direction of the community centre into the future.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding is encouraging all residents of Redbank Plains to have their say.

“Redbank Plains is one of the fastest growing suburbs in Ipswich, and council wants your input and feedback on how we can help to build and strengthen our community,” Mayor Harding said.

“The best thing you can do to build on the success of the community centre work is to take part in the survey. The survey results will help council to understand what residents of Redbank Plains and surrounding suburbs have to say and what services are needed the most.”

The survey is available online on Shape Your Ipswich.

Redbank Plains Community Centre survey

The purpose in asking for feedback is to understand the needs of the Redbank Plains community.

The Redbank Plains Community Centre has made a huge difference in the lives of some of the communities most marginalised.

Long-time Redbank Plains resident Diana Gee was drowning in loneliness after her husband died.

Mrs Gee said the community centre has turned her life around.

“When you are learning to live by yourself for the first time, just talking to people is worth a million dollars.

“My neighbour suggested I go to the community centre to communicate with people.

“The community centre has been my life ever since.”

Mrs Gee now offers her services at the centre as one of 28 volunteers from 14 different countries aged between 19 and 98.

“It is a place that people can go to find out what is available, what services you can access and to just have a conversation,” Mrs Gee said.

“There are a lot of people out there who just want to communicate, they don’t want to be told what to do, but to just be able to have a discussion and have an opinion about something that is happening.

“Since going to the community centre I have learned how to adjust without my husband Ian and that you are not the only lonely bunny on this planet, there are a lot out there and the community centre is somewhere you can go to ask for help.”

The Redbank Plains Community Centre is managed by Multicultural Australia’s Rose Dash who said it is the centre’s vision to be a welcoming, safe and inclusive space for all.

“It is a common misconception that it might be only for migrants but it is for everyone in the community,” Rose Dash said.

“Before the community centre was built there was no central space available for the community to come together and gather.

“Through our community surveys we have been able to assess the needs of the community and connect them with the right services.

“We have found the things most people are concerned about is financial security, safety and public transport among other things such as services for youth and the elderly.”

Rose Dash said her goal is to find ways to build a more inclusive and prosperous community.

“We want to build capacity in the community so people can support each other.” Rose Dash said.

Ten of the 37 programs and services that have been available over the past two years

Midwifery Clinic

Project Nourish

Meetings

Brake the Cycle

RPCC Parents Group

Ipswich Libraries

Volunteering

Training

Community morning tea

Youth Hub

Visits since opening

Visiting organisations

Countries of origin

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