Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing
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Supporting Community Services in Deakin

I rise today to speak about two organisations in my electorate of Deakin which play a critical role in providing learning opportunities, social activities and family and children’s services in our community. These are two neighbourhood and community houses in my electorate. As we all work to represent our electorates, we are fortunate to be able to visit and witness firsthand the valuable way in which these community hubs not only encourage individuals to expand themselves and learn new skills but help to bring people together and build stronger communities. I am therefore a strong supporter of the many neighbourhood and community houses in my electorate of Deakin.

Today I wish to speak about the Central Ringwood Community Centre. The CRCC, as it is known, plays an important role in providing support, integration and employment training services to people in Ringwood. CRCC encourages participation by community members of all ages, cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic levels and abilities. Between 1,600 and 2,000 people come through each week. I have had the privilege of visiting the CRCC on a number of occasions and have spoken with participants about the value and operation of the existing services, including various training courses, playgroups, mothers groups and activities for senior citizens and ethnic groups.

There is always a high demand for services and limited funds which is why I advocated for the centre to receive a grant from the Department of Social Services. I am therefore proud to say that the CRCC will receive $22,000 from the government to purchase laptops and a printer. Computer skills are a fundamental part of education and employment and I am proud that the government is able to provide this support to help train job seekers in up-to-date technologies to enhance their employability and to enable a greater number of local residents to have computer access.

The second group I would like to speak about is the Mitcham Community House, which is another valued community hub in my electorate. Again, it has been a pleasure to visit this community house to learn more about its various programs, including quality children’s and families support services, ESL, Auslan classes and structured social activities. In doing so, I developed an appreciation of the important role that this organisation plays in the local community as well as their need for additional funding. The Mitcham Community House will therefore receive a $13,433 grant from the government to purchase equipment which will assist them in strengthening their employment and training support for residents. Both of these grants are a great result for our community in Deakin and I look forward to visiting both the CRCC and Mitcham Community House to see how their new equipment is providing residents with additional opportunities to learn and improve their skills.