By Lea Roussac

    The Newport Community Hub is a place to celebrate the arts in the Newport community.

    The long anticipated opening of the Newport Community Hub was held Friday 2nd September.

    The opening ceremony began with a speech from Boon Wurrung Elder Carolyn Briggs paying respect to “the land that we now stand, and also [to] pay my respect to my ancestors, Elders past and present and any Elders here today, and to you – as honoured guests.”

    “We believe you must respect the past in order to understand the future,” she said.

    “Today, Hobsons Bay not only represents one of the most important places for the celebration of contemporary Indigenous arts and culture, it prides itself on celebrating the art and culture of our multicultural and global society.

    “So it brings it right back, it brings it back to why we do this, it’s about respecting sacred ground,” Caroline said.


    Boon Wurrung Elder Carolyn Briggs (Photograph by Steven Tandijaya)

    Mayor of Hobsons Bay Councillor Peter Hemphill similarly began his speech by acknowledging and paying his respects to the traditional owners of the land.

    “Let me begin by acknowledging also that we are gathered on the traditional land of the Kulin Nation, that we recognise the First Peoples relationships to this land and we pay our respects to their Elders past and present,” Cr Hemphill said.

    “Today is a day that has long been in the making.

    “I am proud to be here to open the Newport Community Hub, particularly since it’s a project that I have been involved with from the very start,” he said.

    The $9.3 million contributed towards the Newport Community Hub is the councils “second biggest ticket contribution as a community asset,” Cr Hemphill said.

    The buildings environmental design “will provide a 30% decrease in anticipated running costs of the building,” he said.

    The Newport Community Hub offers senior citizens programs, maternal and child health services, youth services, along with a multi-media recording studio dedicated to the use of musicians and accessible after closing hours by a swipe card.

    “This community hub will become a focal point for a vibrant and spirited village that is Newport for generations to come, as it was envisioned by the communities of the past,” Cr Hemphill said.

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