Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 05-08-2014 Contents Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 10
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MONASH PRIMARY SCHOOL
Deserted space becomes children's hub
Monash Primary pupils enjoy
breakfast at the school's new
Photo: Emma Kelly
A disused classroom is slowly
strengthening a southside school
community with the aim of bolstering
the well-being of pupils, parents and
Monash Primary School has
transformed a former storage room
into a community hub now home to a
breakfast club, play groups, movie
nights and family support services.
Co-ordinating parent Virginia
Martin said the hub was born through
Kids Matter, a mental health initiative
undertaken by a number of schools
A group of volunteers gave the
space a makeover including fresh
paint, carpet and furniture and a new
kitchen donated by Bunnings. One
parent also repainted one of the
building's exterior walls as a backdrop
for the school's daily meet and
Since opening less than two months
ago, the hub has already started
attracting more than 50 children to a
tri-weekly breakfast club, enabled
through Yellow Van food donations.
The space has also housed a
successful father-and-son movie night,
with a mother-daughter equivalent
scheduled for August.
But activities have branched out
beyond just schoolchildren with up to
20 families attending a weekly public
playgroup, while parents of the school
have started cooking and freezing
meals to help others doing it tough.
A number of community initiatives
are also earmarked for the site
including Cool Little Kids, a program
to support families of children with
Mrs Martin said word was still
getting out, but the community was
already benefiting from the hub.
"It's for everyone. It's about the
school community . . . pulling together
and helping each other out."
Deputy principal Andrew Buesnel
said the new hub reflected Monash
Primary's broader strategic direction
of strengthening ties within the school
community and was already having a
big impact, including among parents.
"We have more parents coming to
our meet and greets and many go to the
hub before or after for a tea or coffee.''
to air concerns
ISCCC chairman Gary Kent
Governments come in for well-deserved
criticism when they do not properly
consult the community on development
projects that deeply affect local
However, bouquets to ACT Planning
and Land Authority, which has initiated
a very early consultative process with
the Inner South Canberra Community
Council in relation to a series of
rezoning proposals of much importance
to the inner south. These include
proposals to redevelop the Stuart Flats,
Gowrie Court and Red Hill Flats.
Community feedback is being sought
months in advance of the formal public
release of the proposed amendments to
the Territory Plan.
This is as it should be.
The need to look after public tenants,
protect open space and ensure quality
development are just some of the issues
that we will be watching closely. Details
of these meetings can be found on our
website at www.isccc.org.au
We continue to monitor the Land
Development Agency proposal for a
new residential development near the
Canberra Brickworks. About 200
concerned residents attended our recent
public meeting. It's fair to say there is
unease about building height, the
number of residences, the impact on
green space, buffer zones and so on. You
can view the ISCCC submission on our
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