Goonawarra Neighbourhood House

Mr. J. BULL (Sunbury) — On Saturday, 9 May, I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the 25-year celebration of Goonawarra Neighbourhood House. The celebration was wonderfully attended, so much so that event organisers actually ran out of chairs, and the room was full with local community families wanting to thank the staff of the house for their wonderful efforts over many years.

Over 25 years Goonawarra Neighbourhood House has been providing services such as life skills education, health and wellbeing activities, occasional child care, play groups, art and craft, self-help and support groups, social groups, computer training, community events, advocacy and referral services and job readiness and résumé support, as well as internet access and house and room hire. These services are vital for grassroots communities and for our community. I can only imagine the thousands of lives Goonawarra Neighbourhood House has touched through these programs, and it was important to reflect on all that has been achieved by the house.

I would like to particularly acknowledge and thank Alfina Sinatra, the house manager, Janet Thomson, the chairperson, and Lis Rauch, the inaugural manager, who spoke of the origins of the house since its inception. I would also like to recognise Pauline Monaghan, who has given Goonawarra Neighbourhood House so much over so many years. Here is to another 25 years of Goonawarra Neighbourhood House providing such wonderful local services, which are so important to the community of Goonawarra and to the community of Sunbury.