Covid Lockdown, Classes Going Online

Click Here to find out the latest changes.

Classes starting this May at The Centre!

To find out more or to enrol please call 1300 843 236 or email contact@thecentre.vic.edu.au

Growth in job opportunities

Volunteer Strategy Forum

On the 30th of March 2021, Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, Anthony Carbines MP was at The Centre in Wangaratta for a community forum to hear from our incredible volunteers, community members and organisations, to inform development of the Victorian Volunteer Strategy. Hosted by The centre’s Volunteer Centre, we had over 40 organisations represented at the forum, with the interactive format focused on the volunteering experiences, local challenges and opportunities of north east Victoria to capture ideas to strengthen and support volunteering.

The Centre’s AGM

The Centre’s AGM was held on 23 of March at our Wangaratta Campus. The year 2020 heralded reason for celebration and reflection on where The Centre has come from and what it has achieved over the past six years.  Looking back at 2020 and the array of innovative programs and services our staff have created and delivered, we are immensely grateful for the privilege of serving our communities and their people.

The year 2020 was both remarkable and trying. The Centre has clearly demonstrated its strength and resilience in how it set about managing the challenges. It began with the severe impact on our communities from bushfires, followed by the shocks of COVID-19. However, we have emerged from 2020 in a financially sound position and continue to strengthen our capacity to serve our community via our programs and courses.

CEO of The Centre Felicity Williams commented on the positive financial result. “Job Keeper absolutely assisted us through 2020, which enabled us to retain all of our staff through the Covid lockdowns. We also received assistance from the Victorian Department of Education and Training, who maintained normal levels of course funding despite lower enrolments. We thank both the Federal and Victorian Governments for this vital support.”

“As a result of 2020, and surpluses achieved over the past four years, we have been able to rebuild our cash reserves. The Board and Executive are currently making carefully considered decisions regarding ways to reinvest our cash reserves into programs and services that benefit our learners, clients and communities, as well as in innovative and exciting professional development for our staff.”

Highlights of 2020 include:

  • We won the Victorian Training Awards Community Training Provider of the Year 2020. The submission we wrote for this award is a stocktake of the extraordinary work our passionate and committed Leadership Team and staff have contributed to over the last six years in building and creating innovative programs and services that really do achieve positive outcomes with our learners and clients. We also were extremely proud to be a finalist in two categories of the Learn Local Awards – winning the Pre-accredited Pathway Award (and people’s choice award) for our transformational program Getting There.
  • The role of The Centre in delivering programs throughout the Hume Region was reinforced by the opening of our campus in Shepparton this year. We now have a physical presence in Wangaratta, Seymour and Shepparton to support our network of partnerships with community-based providers throughout the region.
  • Our virtual classroom was constructed and rapidly rolled out in just four-weeks when the covid lockdowns first hit. For some learners, particularly those doing Foundation courses, attendance has never been better. Many of our Foundation course learners have conditions like anxiety, which makes attending face-to-face classes challenging, particularly during the first few weeks. Our virtual classroom, or B3, is here to stay. It provides us with another dimension in our ability to engage learners with barriers.

    We completed a Capacity and Innovation Fund project in 2020 with Learn Locals throughout Mitchell Shire. This has resulted in a partnership with PRACE and neighbourhood houses throughout the shire to collaborate in delivering a range of programs that meet the needs of residents as well as local industry.

  • In delivering the Finding Strengths program, we have developed a deep and collaborative relationship with the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS). While, this program has been impacted by COVID restrictions, including the DJCS shutting its doors and minimising contact with clients, the Finding Strengths team have been incredibly resourceful and innovative in maintaining connection with this difficult to reach cohort. A highlight has been the development of the transformational pre-accredited course I Am by one of our psychologists.
  • Through our Regional Sport Victoria network, Sport North East we participated in undertaking deep conversations with sporting and recreation clubs to understand their challenges and what support they believe they would need coming out of COVID. The results of these guided conversations carried out throughout regional Victoria by the nine regional sports assemblies has provided rich insights into the challenges our regional sport sector is facing, particularly shortage of volunteers.
  • Our Community Programs continued their initiatives despite COVID. Particularly, how they found inventive ways for our community visitors to continue the invaluable connection they have with an older person in an aged care facility. Letters, cakes, phone calls, video calls were just a few ways these wonderful people reached out to their isolated older friend and reassured them that they were not forgotten.



Click here to find out more: