Forbes Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre treasurer Aileen Allen says funding from the state government to allow it to upgrade its pavilion is much needed. The outdoor riverside facility, designed to host aboriginal cultural events and social functions, had been lacking a barbeque and seating arrangement in it’s pavilion- two essential items for outdoor socialising.
But the Dreaming Centre was successful in obtaining $10,000 of state government funding through a $55,000 grant awarded to community based organisations by member for Orange Andrew Gee late last year. The money will be used to install an electric BBQ as well as two tables with seats on either side of it.
With electricity yet to be installed at the Centre, the cost of the upgrades will total $12,000, but Ms Allen said the grant still meant improvements were possible. “We’ve raised enough money through other grants to put this project together,” she said. “We don’t have electricity here at the moment so the cost has gone up a bit to get it put in.”
“I’d like to thank Andrew Gee for the grant. Before we would bring in a portable BBQ but we really need one that is there all the time.” The Centre has, unfortunately, been subject to vandalism, with the sprinkler system installed last year coming under damage, which the Centre has constantly been left out of pocket paying for.
Ms Allen said because of this it was also important for the Centre to install security cameras before getting the BBQ up and running. “We’re looking at installing two solar powered security cameras to try and stop vandals from damaging the new BBQ,” she said. “Kids that come here have seen them before, but it’s hard to report them without evidence.”
“We’re not allowed to install a fence around the Centre, so it’s the best thing we can do to protect it.”
In another positive, the Centre will receive the services of two people from the ‘Working for the Dole’ program, a federal government initiative that allows people on welfare to accrue skills and knowledge while helping out in the community. Ms Allen said these people would provide valuable help in maintaining the facility.