Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (22:04:33) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Training and Skills. The action I am seeking is for some government support to help build a community workspace at the Merrilands Community Centre in Darebin, where they are doing a lot with very little.
I was there last week. I met Italian pensioners. I saw some English lessons and a range of classes for people with disabilities. Plus, numerous sporting and social clubs use that facility for games and functions. Amongst those are women who are on correction orders. As I have learned in my time here, these women are some of the most disadvantaged in our society.
The new space that they are hoping to build will assist disadvantaged learners: young people; migrants; as I mentioned, women completing their correction orders; and seniors. They are all seeking introductory courses into trades. This is a way for students, particularly students that find learning very difficult, to discover new skills. It gives them a taste. These pre-accredited introductory courses will also lead into apprenticeships, including carpentry, plumbing, horticulture and hospitality. This is for students who find it very difficult to enter into some of those larger TAFE facilities. This gives them a taste. Also, every day that they go there they get to achieve something, which is fantastic for their confidence, and they are going back for more.
They want to build this shed that allows for this type of pre-training and these pre-accredited courses. Unfortunately they raised all the money but they are now $57 000 short. This was due to some unforeseen circumstances. They had to move the location of the shed slightly. The soil tests that were fine 5 metres away are not fine in this area, so they are seeking $57 000 to build this project and to build this community workplace, which will have an enormous benefit for the people of Darebin and for the number of disadvantaged learners that use the Darebin centre.
I also think that this actually calls on the role of the minister as Minister for Corrections as well, but I would seek her support as Minister for Training and Skills to provide the funding for this shortfall.