Ottey lifeline

COCKBURN’S Ottey Centre and other grassroots organisations have been thrown a lifeline by the McGowan government.

There were fears neighbourhood centres like Ottey would be wiped out by changes which would have seen them competing for funding against big companies and NGOs.

But Ottey manager John Rich said this week the government seemed keen to rejig the rules to ensure centres such as his could bid for funding on a level playing field.

Adding to Mr Rich’s warmth towards the government, $100,000 it had promised during the election campaign lobbed into the centre’s bank account this week.

• Aboriginal TAFE students were practicing their public speaking skills at the Ottey Centre this week.

He says they’ll be celebrating with an open day on Saturday November 18 where they’ll start the process of asking the community what to spend the money on.

While he didn’t want to pre-empt the consultation, he says there’s already been suggestions of building a basketball court and bike track.

The open day will feature dancing, laughter yoga, fairies, massages, a bouncy castle, animal farm and demonstrations of other activities that keep the centre buzzing during the week.

One such activity this week was a presentation by Aboriginal youths who are taking part in a TAFE leadership course, who spoke about issues as diverse as their love of the land to sports.

Teacher Alan Jacka says the full-time course prepares the kids for higher studies, apprenticeships and work.

by STEVE GRANT

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