Cire was among approximately 90 representatives from recipients of the Yarra Ranges Council’s 2024 Grants for Community Program at a special celebration event on Thursday evening, 6 December.
Hosted by the Council at the Civic Centre in Lilydale, the evening was a great forum for community groups to network with others and share information about their projects and aspirations, as well as challenges. It was also an excellent opportunity for the representatives from a diverse range of groups to chat with the Mayor, Cr Sophie Todorov and other local councillors.
For the 2024 Grants for Community Program, 65 projects have shared the $500,000 available. A further 41 projects have benefited from approx. $558,000 in partnership funding.
Cire’s Level Up after-school and holiday program was fortunate to receive $7500, so it can continue in 2024, while the next year’s Halloween Street Party was granted $5000. Both projects are driven by Cire Community Hubs and are free to ensure no one is excluded due to financial hardship.
In his presentation at the celebration event, Deputy Mayor Cr David Eastham described as “phenomenal” the work and outcomes achieved by community groups across the municipality, building social connections and making the Yarra Ranges such a great place to live.
He commended all community groups for their ability to dream, develop and deliver their projects for the benefit of people of all ages.
Jenelle Strachan, manager of Cire Community Hubs, commended the Grants for Community Program. She said it demonstrated how acutely YRC was aware of the diverse needs in the community and the invaluable work by community groups and volunteers to support residents of all ages.
Jenelle noted that only 3% of the Yarra Ranges Shire is classified as urban, making easy access to programs and services even more critical for social connection and strengthening local communities.
The keynote speaker for the evening was clinical psychologist David Younger, who is also a natural disaster and emergency recovery consultant. He has been an advisor after numerous events, including bushfires, floods, droughts, cyclones, the 2017 Bourke Street tragedy, thunderstorm asthma, and COVID-19.
David spoke on Hope, acceptance and replenishment – How to survive and thrive during an era of rapid change and uncertainty. Key takeaways included the “three ingredients of hope” – goals, pathways (roadmaps/plans to realise goals), and agency (power/motivation to achieve). The topic was one that resonated with David’s captivated audience.
Other highlights of the evening included performances by talented musicians Velveteen and presentations by Grants for Community recipients, Belgrave Traders Association (Belgrave Lantern Festival) and Healesville Community Garden Inc. (Fed by Nature). The evening’s MC, stand-up comedian Patrick Watt, kept the entertainment and proceedings rolling.
Welcome to Country was by Elder Aunty Julie Coombes and included a wonderful presentation of photographs of her ancestors and the very early days of Coranderrk near Healesville.
Pictured from left, Cire Community Hubs Manager Jenelle Strachan, and Benwerren’s Lauren Malane-Rule and Nichole Kelly