Redbank Plains Community Centre manager Rose Dash, Acting Community Development co-ordinator Tanya Appleton and local resident and RPCC volunteer Diana Gee.
Redbank Plains Community Centre manager Rose Dash, Acting Community Development co-ordinator Tanya Appleton and local resident and RPCC volunteer Diana Gee.

Community centre helps longtime resident find peace

The Redbank Plains Community Centre has turned two and despite its young age has forged a strong connection with the community.

Redbank Plains resident Diana Gee was drowning in loneliness after her husband died but said the community centre had turned her life around.

“When you are learning to live by yourself for the first time, just talking to people is worth a million dollars,” she said.

“My neighbour suggested I go to the community centre to communicate with people.

“The community centre has been my life ever since.”

Mrs Gee now offers her services at the centre as one of 28 volunteers from 14 different countries aged between 19 and 98.

“It is a place that people can go to find out what is available, what services you can access and to just have a conversation,” she said.

“There are a lot of people out there who just want to communicate, they don’t want to be told what to do, but to just be able to have a discussion and have an opinion about something that is happening.

“Since going to the community centre I have learned how to adjust without my husband Ian and that you are not the only lonely bunny on this planet, there are a lot out there and the community centre is somewhere you can go to ask for help.”

Diana Gee says the community centre is her life
Diana Gee says the community centre is her life

The $1.9 million facility’s milestone also means the longitudinal study, that measures the impact of the community centre over a period of time, will be reopened again for residents to complete.

This survey, to be launched this week, will be compared to previous milestone surveys to set the direction of the community centre into the future and is available online in Shape Your Ipswich.

The Redbank Plains Community Centre is currently managed by Multicultural Australia’s Rose Dash who said it is the centre’s vision to be a welcoming, safe and inclusive space for all.

“It is a common misconception that it might be only for migrants but it is for everyone in the community,” Ms Dash said.

“Before the community centre was built there was no central space available for the community to come together and gather.

“Through our community surveys we have been able to assess the needs of the community and connect them with the right services.

“We have found the things most people are concerned about is financial security, safety and public transport among other things such as services for youth and the elderly.”