Community Connections at our neighbourhood centres and libraries
Read about how staff from the City of Marion are working with the local community at our neighbourhood centres and libraries.
This article appears in City Limits magazine - Issue 51 - April 2016.
In a world increasingly driven by technology, stories of people connecting with each other face-to-face are becoming increasingly rare.
This feature shows how staff from the City of Marion are working with local people to help them learn new skills, increase their chances of finding employment and get to grips with new technology in a supportive environment.
Shweta Sharma and Glandore Community Centre coordinator Cathlin Day
Shweta Sharma started volunteering as an English as a Second Langauge and Everyday Literacy tutor at Glandore Neighbourhood Centre late last year to boost her chances of finding work.
“I’ve had difficulty finding work in media, which was my preferred profession, and wasn’t sure if I could learn new skills but the centre has broadened my horizons,” Shweta said.
“I’m now doing my certificate IV in training and assessment so I can teach classes here at the centre and elsewhere which is something I never thought I would do.
“When I came to Adelaide from India I didn’t know anyone but thanks to the centre I now have many friends – it’s a home away from home for me.”
Shweta participates in the City of Marion’s Community Leadership Program which helps people develop project management, communication and presentation skills to take an active role in their neighbourhood.
Shweta will photograph events as part of the leadership program.
Glandore Community Centre’s coordinator Cathlin Day is Shweta’s mentor.
“Shweta came to us when she was missing her family and unable to get a job - now she is involved in the leadership program, is an experienced volunteer and is on the way to gaining a formal qualification,” Cathlin said.
“Many volunteers have to overcome obstacles like anxiety and language skills, and seeing them develop and become more confident is rewarding.”
Glandore Community Centre is at 25 Naldera St, Glandore and can be contacted on 8371 1139. Activities include reading, social and walking groups, arts and crafts and yoga.
- Find out more about Glandore Community Centre.
Carmell Cardall and Mitchell Park Neighbourhood Centre officer Eileen Phan
When Carmell’s husband died five years ago she was in danger of becoming isolated at home so headed to Mitchell Park Neighbourhood Centre which is where she first met Eileen Phan.
“It was hard to make that first step, but I knew if I stayed at home alone I would be very unhappy,” Carmell said.
“Eileen introduced me to many people and activities and the centre has become my second home.”
Eileen, who now runs the centre, first visited it in 1987 as a client.
“I had two little kids and wanted to keep them busy and get out of the house so I came for a playgroup,” Eileen said.
“I ended up running the playgroup and eventually gaining employment at the centre.”
Mitchell Park Neighbourhood Centre is at 1 Cumbria Court, Mitchell Park and can be contacted on 8375 6804. Activities include playgroups, senior social programs, English as a second language and computer tuition.
- Find out more about Mitchell Park Neighbouhood Centre.
Yvonne Jeffery-Angenois and Trott Park Neighbourhood Centre officer Julie Collett
Yvonne has been taking painting and exercise classes and French lessons at Trott Park Neighbourhood Centre since it opened 30 years ago.
“I come to the centre at least four times a week because I love the activities and the people,” Yvonne said.
“Julie keeps us coming back… it’s more than a place to learn new skills.”
Julie Collett has worked as Trott Park Neighbourhood Centre’s officer for 15 years.
“I enjoy the sense of community and the stories about how people have overcome obstacles to get here,” Julie said.
“It’s rewarding to see people learn something new, get involved in fitness classes and become part of their community.”
The Trott Park Neighbourhood Centre is at 34 Hessing Crescent Trott Park and can be contacted on 8387 2074.Activities include playgroup, exercise, language classes, a woodwork shed, community gardening and cooking.
- Find out more about Trot Park Neighbouhood Centre.
Lyn Boyce and Park Holme Library customer service officer, Debbie Gill
Lyn Boyce has been a familiar face at the Park Holme Library since she started borrowing books 10 years ago. She recently started using the library’s digital service.
"When I was given a tablet for Christmas I had no idea how to use it, but the library staff helped me set it up and I began using the digital library system straight away," Lyn said.
"With the digital library I can have instant access to a huge range of books on my tablet."
The library's customer service officer Debbie Gill has seen a lot of library regulars pick up new skills through the digital library and the digital literacy training courses.
"People have been very keen to use the digital library, but are not always sure how," she said.
"Our programs are a great way to get your head around the newer technology, and our digital library means a lot of people can put that to use in a way that they understand."
The digital service doesn’t mean people stop people dropping into their library either.
"I love the digital options, but I would miss coming to the library and seeing everyone," Lyn said.
Park Holme Library is at 1 Duncan Avenue, Park Holme and can be contacted on 8375 6745. In addition to providing books, CDs, DVDs and magazines, the library offers school holiday programs and weekly activities for babies and children. The Library@Home service, which delivers materials to people’s homes for free is also based at Park Holme Library.
City Limits Magazine
The City Limits Magazine is a community publication that keeps Marion residents in touch with what is happening in their community. It includes information about major projects, council initiatives and events, as well as profiles of community members.
It is published three times a year and distributed to 40,000 residents and businesses in the Marion Council area.