In 2019, PRACE, Wallan Neighbourhood House and The Centre formed a partnership to deliver courses to the community of Wallan.
With two courses starting soon, Focus on Employment and Computers for Beginners, we had a chat with the Coordinator of Wallan Neighbourhood House, Pauline Cornish.
Pauline joined Wallan Neighbourhood House 23 years ago as a volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program. What began with a desire to throw her energy into something to help others in town, quickly became more.
“Volunteering is a really good way to meet people and stay busy. I started off in the Meals and Wheels program and after a while I was nominated Treasurer, then President – by which time I was highly involved in the daily life of the centre” says Pauline.
Wallan is a commuter town and often overlooked by Education providers. People have to travel to do any significant type of study and don’t get the chance to get to know people in their community with similar life experiences.
“When Libby and her team from PRACE approached us last year to see if they could extend their services to the people on the Melbourne fringe, they identified a real need in our community which was wonderful” Pauline explains.
The partnership has opened up opportunities for local people looking to improve their employment and computer skills within their local community.
“We’re really happy to be working with PRACE. It’s great to get the chance to work with another neighbourhood house who understands the importance of getting to know the needs of the community and creating programs that can make a difference” says Pauline.
As well as the PRACE courses, Wallan Neighbourhood House and The Centre run a broad range of programs to address the needs of the local Community.
“We host a range of services such as Services Australia, Relationships Australia, U3A Wallan and Job Active providers. On any one day you might find toddlers onsite as part of our occasional childcare, environment groups and volunteers from the Red Cross, RSL and Country Women’s Association. People do all sorts of things under our roof, such as: yoga, pilates, craft, computer classes, gardening, singing, first aid, art class and meditation” she explains.
After 23 years with such a vibrant organisation, Pauline remains passionate about her work.
“Working with the neighbourhood house is a very big part of my life, I love my work and jump at new projects and anything that I think will help our community. I could retire next year but I can’t see that happening – I feel like there is still so much work to do in our community and I want to be part of making it happen” she says.
We look forward to a long and productive partnership with Wallan Neighbourhood House and The Centre.
Focus on Employment and Computers for Beginners start soon. Find out more here.