Merinda Park Community and Learning Centre celebrates 20 years of outstanding work

State Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley today congratulated Merinda Park Community and Learning Centre on 20 years of outstanding work for the Cranbourne community.

Judith recently spoke in the Parliament of Victoria on this wonderful achievement and today presented copies of her speech to President Kevin Harris, Chief Executive Officer Jan Gilchrist and members of the Committee of Management.

Ms Graley said that it was such a great pleasure to attend Merinda Park’s twentieth anniversary celebrations and speak about the wonderful contribution this centre has made to our local community.

“This centre had grown from a small pilot program established in 1992 to a vibrant and much-loved centre of the Cranbourne community,”

“They now provide family support, educational and vocational training, as well as recreational and personal development activities, for the local community,”

“Much of their success has been as a result of their exceptional leadership at both the executive and committee levels over the past twenty years,”

“Jan Gilchrist and her incredible team continue the wonderful work started by their very first president, Gary Edwards.”

Ms Graley said that everyone involved with Merinda Park takes the centre’s motto of ‘Serving the Community’ to heart.

“Jan, Kevin and the team at Merinda Park Community and Learning Centre are all kind, generous and incredibly hardworking people,”

“Their dedication and commitment to improving our local community has been inspirational and I look forward to joining the team at Merinda Park to celebrate their silver anniversary.”

        Legislative Assembly – Parliament of Victoria

Merinda Park Learning and Community Centre recently held a weeklong celebration for its 20th birthday that culminated in a lovely dinner on Saturday night. It was such a great pleasure to attend this happy occasion with my husband to celebrate 20 years of outstanding work for the Cranbourne community.

In March 1991 the Labor Premier, Joan Kirner, announced funding for the establishment of four pilot service and coordination, and integration projects in rapidly growing outer urban areas. Merinda Park Learning and Community Centre was one of those pilot programs, and it commenced operation in June 1992. This wonderful organisation provides family support and educational and vocational training, as well as recreational and personal developmental activities, for the local community. In fact it now offers in excess of 70 courses, a range of child-care services and a counsellor funded through the City of Casey.

In attendance on the night was the first ever president, Gary Edwards, as well the current president, Kevin Harris, and chief executive officer, the enthusiastic Jan Gilchrist.

Since its establishment Merinda Park Learning and Community Centre has been exceptionally well led at both the executive and committee levels. Jan Gilchrist and her incredible team include treasurer Frank Kauhausen, secretary and public officer Hayley Robinson, Helen Datson, Ferdinand Anciano, Lindy Tuffnel, Heather Evers, Senthil Kumar Dharmalingam and Nev Blackley. They are all kind, generous and hardworking people, and they take to heart the centre’s motto — Serving the Community. I would like to make special mention of Athena Jones and Coreena Bron, who were recognised for their long and dedicated service to the local community. Thank you, ladies.

As the night drew to a close we lit the candles on the cake and sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday, all under the watchful eye of the indefatigable Jan.