A nationwide capital appeal campaign was announced today to assist in the building and fit-out of the first nationally dedicated Aboriginal Women and Girls Sports and Wellness Centre in North Fitzroy Victoria.
The State Upper House member Fiona Patten announced the appeal as part of today’s foundation laying ceremony for the construction of the Centre, which is due for completion in November this year.
Ms Patten said the appeal aimed to raise $3 million for much-needed changing room facilities and equipment, as well as a Unisex Gymnasium, treatment rooms for a Community Health and Wellness Clinic, multipurpose rooms and kitchen and catering facilities.
The funds will also go to the commissioning Aboriginal artists to choose the colours of the Centre and the design and creation of a mural at the front of the building to express Aboriginal Feminine and Dreams Pathways.
The Appeal will begin on 1 July and run until early next year.
The Sports and Wellness Centre will be the home of Fitzroy Stars Football and Netball Club, the Aborigines Advancement League and the Hands on Health Australia’s Head Office and clinic.
The State Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence; the Local member for Northcote, Kat Theophanous and the Darebin Mayor, Cr. Lina Messina today laid the foundations for the construction of the Centre. The State government, First Peoples Victoria and the Darebin Council have contributed $5.55 million for the construction of the building.
HoHA CEO, Franca Smarrelli, said the capital appeal was essential to fitting out the Centre and making it fully functional for its official opening in November this year.
“There is an urgent need for the women and visitors to the Centre to have the facilities to make it fully functional for the aboriginal women and girls associated with the Fitzroy Stars Football & Netball Club and the Aborigines Advancement League and the community at large,” she said.
“It will build capacity and create sport and wellbeing opportunities for all Aboriginal women and girls.”
Apart from allied health services, there will also be mental health counselling, legal and financial services, Aboriginal Healing and Circles, as well as arts and crafts and music therapy, traditional aboriginal art classes, food and nutrition classes and aboriginal cooking and educational sessions on training and employment pathways to achieving better health and employment opportunities.
NB: From left to right
Coach Lisa of the Women’s Football team, Uncle Phil Cooper, President Aborigines Advancement League, Upper House Member, Fiona Patten, Helen Archibald, Robert Masters, Chair HoHA, The Hon, Ros Spence, Minister for Community Sport, Bronwyn Halfpenny, Member for Thomastown, Dr Esme Bamblett, CEO Aborigines Advancement League, Kat Theophanous State Member for Northcote, Upper House Member, Sheena Watt, Troy Austin CEO Fitzroy Stars Football Club, Linda Bamblett, CEO VACSAL, Cr Emily Dimiatrides, Cr. Susan Rennie, Deputy Mayor, Gaetano Greco, Mayor, Lina Messina, Franca Smarrelli CEO HoHA, Cr Julie Williams.