Trowutta’s treasure

Trowutta Community Centre’s regulars: Jett Sweetman, Lilliarna and Sophie Cann, Heidi Braid, Bronte and Maci Sweetman. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

Appeal. For the Trowutta community and its surrounds, the brick hall and adjoining oval in the middle of the woods is a special meeting place.

Whether it be sports, celebrations or children’s activities, the Trowutta Community Centre is open to all and used by many.

Up until now, a small group of volunteers has run the centre, with funding from the council.
However, funding will cease from January 2015.

Alicia Sweetman has volunteered at the centre for 10 years, and is asking the broader community for help. “We need the community’s help with funding, sponsorship or volunteers,” she said. “Every little bit counts.”

While much of the centre’s upkeep is done with volunteer hours and labour, funds are needed for licences and regulations. Mrs Sweetman estimates maintenance will cost $10,000 annually.

The walls of the centre are adorned with football and cricket memorabilia, and handwritten plaques thanking community members for donating ‘tiles’ to build the dance floor.

Mrs Sweetman, who is secretary and treasurer, said she spends about three days a week at the centre.

“This is the only meeting place,” she said. “This place does mean a lot to a lot of people.”

Each week, over 20 children and their mums come together for two meets: Kids’ Club and Mothers’ Club.

“The kids count the days until kids’ club,” Mrs Sweetman said. “They love coming to the rec.”
The ground is often used by the children, for footy training and during the cricket season, for both training and games.

Volunteers open the bar to the public for regular family nights.

The venue for local birthday parties is easily decided, with the hire rate for private functions set at small fee, with jumping castle included.

There are also plans to start a library for young readers.

Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said the council is working with the Trowutta community to help it manage the centre into the future.

He said the council has had to “move away from managing such centres because of the costs involved”, but he hopes the community can find a way forward to keep it open.

Cr Quilliam said the council will continue to assist with ongoing insurance and funding the start-up phase, however “the continued operation of the centre would be reliant on community volunteers”.

He said the council has previously taken the same approach with other centres, including Mawbanna, and a hall at Montagu was also handed over to the community, but later sold.

A meeting is being held at Trowutta Community Centre on Tuesday July 8, 7pm.
To speak to Alicia about how you can help phone 0438 930 756.

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