GALLERY: New centre gives helping hand to new residents
A NEW centre for people of all ethnicities to share and join activities and programs is set to give everyone the best possible start at a new life in Gladstone.
Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours have expanded their facilities with the opening of their new Inclusion Centre at 21 Off Street on Thursday night.
Executive Officer of WIN Inc, Natalia Muszkat said the centre would be used to run programs, open to community groups and individuals who want to do things in relation to social inclusion.
"It's about bringing people together into a space in which they feel comfortable, safe and supported to do the things they want to do that involve community or their families," she said.
"We see different ethnic groups but other groups like safety places, recreational groups, health activities and children and parenting programs.
"While we service culturally and linguistically diverse people as well as people new to the area, the centre has a lot of people that are from Gladstone and surrounding areas who volunteer and participate."
Thursday night's opening was a celebration not only of the work to come at the centre, but also the success of WIN within the Gladstone Community.
The evening saw a large number of guests enjoy food, drinks and cultural entertainment, with councillors Glenn Churchill and Glenn Butcher speaking at the grand opening.
Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours has grown significantly since its inception in 2010, running programs for new residents from overseas, including educational courses and children's playgroups.
The organisation has also recently opened an office in Rockhampton over the last month.
Natalia said Thursday night's event was evidence of how many lives have been touched by the centre.
"It was really evident that the people who came to the opening had a big mix of people coming representing organisations, but there was also a lot of people who came just because they supported us," she said.
"It goes beyond an organisation; these are people who, one way or another at some stage in the last years have used our services, have contributed or have been involved in something we've done.
"Most people that are new to this area or want to get involved will somehow touch with WIN somewhere along that journey."
The centre will be open at 21 Off Street from 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday.