T.O.Y.S gets Council backing to continue

The future of the successful men’s shed program (T.O.Y.S) at the Clarence Park Community Centre is assured thanks to a Council decision last night.

A motion put by myself at last night’s Council meeting and my argument in support of the motion saw a unanimous vote in favour of providing the Clarence Park Community Centre Board with a transitional period subsidy. This has secured the future of the T.O.Y.S program in that the centre can now afford to take over the employment of the coordinator of the program. The program had been in some quandary after Council , at a previous meeting and in my absence, voted as a result of the recent Community Centre Review to cut the employment of one of the staff who was on the Council payroll.

The Management Board of the Community Centre were caught on the hop by the original decision and were not financially secure enough to take on the responsibility for paying for someone to be the coordinator, at least not in the the short term. They (the board) needed a transitional period to consider ways and means of being able to fund the position.

The motion has secured a subsidy for the wages of a coordinator for 12 months with a commitment by Council to consider a further twelve months. I don’t know who will form the next council but if the nucleus of this Council is retained then I believe the likelihood of a further 12 months is good.

I have every confidence that the Board will find a way during this transition period to take over the full responsibility. The Board meets tonight and will certainly be buoyed by this news. They can now get on with the job of serving the community as they have for such a long time already secure in the mind that one of the communities favourite programs will live on.

Attracting Native Wildlife to YOUR garden

Goodwood Primary School students gave a presentation along with James Smith, Zoologist and founder of fauNature, as to how we might not only protect our native fauna and flora but increase it within the boundaries of the City of Unley.

The presentation was at the School and was most informative. The students of this school, and indeed nearby Black Forest primary School have been leading the way in nature preservation. We can all be proud that our little neck of the woods are so proactive.

Part of the promotion covered how both schools have been helping to reduce the impacts of habitat loss along the rail corridor. This project was done in conjunction with DPTI, City of Unley and the Toys workshop at the Clarence Park Community Centre.

This project fits neatly into Councils Greening component of our Strategic Plan (from the Community of Possibilities).

Our future is in the hands of these young people, which is encouraging. I jut hope we don’t blow it before they get to influence directly.

The message has to get out there that we (you and me) are responsible for the future. We cant blame governments. Look for my next post on this.

Keeping Minds and Bodies Active

That is the theme of the SHED (T.O.Y.S) team at Clarence Park Community Centre.

The volunteers at T.O.Y.S have recently supplemented the work the have been doing for 20 years mending toys for kindergartens, child care and early learning centres by working on constructing wooden learning aids for local dementia patients.

So now we have 12 nursing homes within the City of Unley also benefiting from the work of T.O.Y.S.

Open up your copy of the current edition of Unley Life and turn to page 12 to read the storey on this project.

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep

Last night I heard my momma singin’ a song, cooee, chirpy, chirpy, cheep,cheep.

Where’s our trees gone might be the song we have been singing for the last 12 months. But now we can sing and rejoice the birds are coming back, thanks to DPTI, Council and our local school kids.

While we await replanting of lost trees (on a three for one basis) and aware of the impact these works of the impact that the Rail Revitalisation Project has had on flora within the western suburbs of the City of Unley, DPTI and Council have worked collaboratively on a Community Wildlife Project to provide nesting boxes through neighbouring streets, schools and private properties adjacent the rail corridor. Fundamentally the aim of the project was to provide alternative nesting sites for fauna that may have been displaced by the loss of vegetation, specifically trees from the rail projects.
DPTI worked with a Zoologist (James Smith) who teamed with schools within the area to build nesting boxes. This Community Wildlife Project was enthusiastically embraced by the community. This includes the kids of the Black Forest and Goodwood Primary Schools, Clarence Park Community Centre T.O.Y.S. Workshop (who provided the workshop for the kids to make the nesting boxes) and numerous other volunteers have all been valuable contributors, ensuring the environmental and educational outcomes sort have been achieved

The boxes have been placed in trees near the rail corridor (Goodwood Primary School, Forestville Reserve, Black Forest School, Devon Street & Railway Terrace, Lyons Parade, Cromer Parade and Goodwood Oval). The Council has supported this project and agreed to take on board the longer term maintenance of these boxes. In total 42 fauna boxes are located in trees near the corridor as part of this project.

Council already has 52 boxes located throughout the rest of the City (predominately to the east of the City). With the additional 42 provided from this project we are now close to 100 fauna boxes throughout the City.

Clarence Park Community Centre the model for all to follow.

This is the question that I am sure will be asked when Councils Community Centres Directions Paper is presented to Council, maybe this month.

One of four community centres in Unley, a ratio much more than any other council per head of population, Clarence Park has a point of difference I would think the others should consider copying.

Nestled discreetly in the Black Forest side of the rail corridor adjacent the East Avenue level crossing it is, if ever there was, a sustainable model for Community Centres. Run by a Board of Directors, mainly from volunteers keen to see a community centre meet the needs they know exist in the local community.

The centre very much has a focus back to basics and care for children and about our environment. They are powered by solar energy and rainwater.

They offer fresh, seasonal and organic food at our markets and food cooperatives and they dance to world music and awaken mysteries within.

And they do this without putting much strain on the Council’s resources, certainly when compared to the other three centres. cant wait to see if the Council management agree with me.

Hopefully the report will be ready for this months council meeting on the 28th. If not it should be by the  November Council meeting.

Toy Bargains at Clarence Park Community Centre

With school holidays upon us here is a great chance for your kids to get rid of unwanted toys, and maybe acquire some new ones. Kids Market at the Clarence Park Community Centre is the venue and Wednesday 2 October between 10:30 and 12:30 the date.

If your kids want to get rid of some toys the may have a late chance to occupy one of the 30 young people stalls run. A stall will only cost $ 5.00
Of course they is also a great chance to pick up some bargains if you are looking for toys for your kids. Purchasers and spectators have free admission.
The centre’s customer service officer Kirsten Lindsay says the biannual event is always great fun. “It has a real market atmosphere and the children are just buzzing with excitement,” she says.
What better thing to take advantage of in the holidays.
PS          Unsold toys are donated to charity after the market.
Kids’ Market, Clarence Park Community Centre, 72 East Ave, Black Forest, Wednesday, October 2, 10.30am-12.30pm. Stalls cost: $5. Shoppers: Free. Contact: 8293 8166.

Review on the role of our Community Centres


In an endeavour to ensure our services to our community are delivering what is needed a review of Operations and Service Delivery provided by our Community Centres is about to commence.

This project is aimed at providing Council with recommendations for the future directions of the City of Unley Community Centresrelating to operation and service provision.  A Directions Paper will be developed as part of the review and will provide Elected Members with information on:
  • What each Centre delivers the community.
  • Community aspirations, needs and expectations in relation to our Community Centres.
  • Opportunities for improvement based on increased efficiency, enhanced effectiveness and collaboration and strengthened value, to meet both current and future community needs and expectations.
The Community Centres Direction paper will be developed over three stages:
Stage 1 (January/February 2013)
Develop an understanding of:

·         Council endorsed directions, policies and strategies relevant to the Centres.

·         The current management models, programs provided, operations, community usage and resources allocated to each Centre.

·         The demographic profile of the Unley community and future trends specifically relating to Community Centre operations.

Stage 2 (March/April 2013)

This stage will involve extensive community engagement; comparative analysis with other councils; and an industry scan to provide an understanding of current and future trends and challenges of the community centre sector.


Consultation with a broad range of stakeholders is planned as part of this project.  The views of both users and non-users of community centres, as well as with the respective boards of management for both Goodwood South’s very own Clarence Park Community Centre and also the Goodwood Community Centres, will be sought. 


Stage 3 (April/May 2013)
At the end of this project, Council will be provided with a Community Centres Directions Paper for consideration. 

It’s Christmas Time again at Clarence Park.

Entertained by the Drumming Monkeys the Clarence Park Community Centre Christmas Party was a great success.

Once again the main hall was filled with kids, and their parents and grand parents.

The Clarence Park Community Centre has been a significant contributor to the local community in the Goodwood South ward of Council. This event is evidence of this.

Well done to everyone involved.

Clarence Park Community Centre Recognised

As reported a month ago the event of the year at the City of Unley Citizenship Awards was presented to the Amadya Muslim Women’s Bazaar at Clarence Park Community Centre.

This recognition was just the start as it turns out.

A week ago Sue Goldsworthy (CPCC), Amelia Birve and Deb Richardson attended the Governors Multicultural Awards at Government House. The Clarence Park Community Centre was short listed as a finalist for the work done with the Ahmadiyya Community from more than 130 submissions.

The Clarence Park Community Centre deserves this recognition. Well done to the staff working on this project.

Clarence Park Community Centre – Wearable Art Workshop

Since launching her business in 2009, Melanie-Joy has taught hundreds of people to create their own unique pieces of ‘Wearable Art’.
The catchphrase “think outside the square”, prepares you to experience something beyond the ordinary.
Largely self-taught, Melanie has been making her own jewellery for over 12 years. She merges natural skills for combining colour and texture with those learnt whilst studying Fashion Design.
Throughout 2012, Melanie-Joy will be sharing her skills in a variety of jewellery-making workshops at Clarence Park Community Centre.
“I’m so excited to be working in partnership with Clarence Park Community Centre to enrich the local community” Says Melanie.“It’s all about helping people to discover their inner-creativity. We are all capable of expressing our own creativity; some of us just need a gentle nudge in the right direction”
A snippet of what’s on offer:
FOR THE KIDS: April 16, “Wrap-around Bracelets – one for Mum and one for ME” – just in time for Mothers Day! Contact the centre to book: 8293 8166
FOR ADULTS: April 29, “An Introduction to Boutique Jewellery Making”. Perfect for beginners. Work with quality materials and learn all the basics to continue to create beautiful designs at home.
GET CREATIVE: August 26, “Wearable Art Workshop”. Designed to Inspire and ‘awaken your creativity’. Use a variety of non-traditional objects to create your own unique piece of ‘Wearable Art’. Suitable for beginners, and adults of all jewellery-making levels.
Bookings are essential as places are limited. Contact Melanie: 0411 754 317.
Visit workofmelaniesteadman.blogspot.com for more information              


Sharon Zacher has been coordinating the TOYS program (standing for Together Offering Your Skills) at the Clarence Park Community Centre for the last 8 years of the program’s 30 year history.

There are currently 20 male and female volunteers who mend toys from kindergartens and schools, make and repair furniture items, build possum boxes, make bridge stands for people with arthritis, build protection boxes for a community radio station to keep their old turntables safe, repair wicker dolls prams for kindergartens and make props for local ballet and theatre groups. They are currently working on making a selection of wooden toys that will be on sale leading up to Christmas.

The TOYS shed is open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9.00 am to midday from February to mid December.

Clarence Park Community Centre

The Clarence Park Community Centre celebrated their 2011 Christmas Party last night. There would have been in excess of 200 people there.

The Community Centre is alive and filled with excitement; a sure sign that that we have a very successful and well patronised  Community Facility here in the Goodwood South Ward.

Father Christmas visited us during the party and provided all the kids with presents. It was great to see the smiling faces of not only the kids but the mums and dads too. Next year I might be able to return, not just as a councillor but a grandparent – Pa Don.

Ruth Zilm was thanked for her 26 years with the Centre and there were lots of wet eyes as she received a presentation from Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ashley Campbell.

Well done both the management and the staff of the Community Centre. Have a merry Christmas and we will see you again in the new year; ready again to provide a valuable service to the resident’s of Clarence Park, Millswood, Black Forest and surrounding suburbs.