Community Group Award 2004 – Response

On Australia Day 2004, the Centre was the recipient of a Community Group Award.
Following is the response by community representative Malcolm Calder.

AUSTRALIA DAY RESPONSE
By Malcolm Calder, Member, Steels Creek Community Centre Inc.

On behalf of the Steels Creek Community I thank the Shire of Yarra Ranges for presenting to Steels Creek this Australia Day award.

In preparing a response I have had the opportunity to reflect on the significance of Australia Day, and on the nature of Community.

Australia Day commemorates the foundation of the nation state – Australia – a large community, united by shared values and shared aspirations.

When I think of the Steels Creek Community I can say that we also have the same shared values and aspirations, which at the simplest level come down to FRIENDSHIP (perhaps MATESHIP) They include:

MUTUAL TRUST, RESPECT, and SUPPORT
TOLERANCE,
COOPERATION,
COMMUNICATION, and
PARTICIPATION.

All these elements are found in our community in Steels Creek, as I’m sure they are in many others. In particular, there are two components of our community that have contributed more to our coherence than we could ever have predicted.

First, we have a “home” where many of our activities take place. We negotiated through the Shire for the conversion of the former Steels Creek Primary School to the Steels Creek Community Centre which we manage and maintain. We thank the Shire and our local representatives for responding to our persistent requests to retain this property in the early 90’s.

Secondly, we have published every second month, a community newsletter, which keeps everyone informed on activities and developments in the community. People know what is going on.

Governments at all levels are now promoting communities. There are common elements in all communities, large or small, national or local. We strongly support policies and programmes of the Shire of Yarra Ranges which encourage the support and development of communities. If we have been successful in Steels Creek it’s because we simply want it to work.