Collaborate, connect and celebrate during Social Inclusion Week
  • Friday 04 November 2016
ImageShare a meal, make friends and connect at one of the Coast’s community or neighbourhood centres during Social Inclusion Week from Saturday, November 19 to Sunday, November 27.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast Social Strategy highlighted council’s commitment to supporting an engaged, resilient and inclusive community that embraces diversity.

“This is particularly important throughout Social Inclusion Week, which is about encouraging communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all cultures, age groups, nationalities and the disadvantaged,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Social Inclusion Week is an important national initiative and I encourage everyone to get involved by attending local events and reaching out to those in our community who may need a little extra help finding their way and make new friends.”

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council has very strong partnerships in place with community and neighbourhood centres which offer a range of courses, programs and activities for the community.

“These include playgroups, craft and activity groups, support services, computer and literacy classes, community kitchens and much more,” Cr McKay said.

“Council has partnered with the Caloundra Community Centre to launch the region’s Social Inclusion Week celebrations from noon to 2.30pm on November 16 with a free community lunch.

“This event gives people the opportunity to head out to collaborate, connect and celebrate Social Inclusion Week.”

Caloundra Community Centre’s community development officer Tomas Passeggi said his organisation provided a range of programs, services and facilities and had a commitment to inclusiveness.

“We seek to respond to and address the needs of socially, culturally and economically disadvantaged groups in the community,” Mr Passeggi said.

“In celebration of Social Inclusion Week, we invite the community to enjoy a free community lunch. We will have our outdoor pizza oven roaring.

“Guests can also access information on community programs, groups and activities that are available on the Sunshine Coast for all community members.

“One of the simplest things we can do to build caring and inclusive communities is to reach out to those around us and our community and neighbourhood centres do exactly that.”

Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre Inc. community development coordinator Mark Ellis said his organisation “empowers the Coast’s families and individuals by acting as a catalyst in the development of human resources at an individual and community level”.

“We provide a wide range of supportive services and activities to enable people of the Coast to participate fully in the life of their community,” Mr Ellis said.

“We hold free weekly community dinners in partnership with REAP Food Rescue for those who are homeless, or struggling to feed their family every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-6pm.

“Our neighbourhood centre offers a friendly, accessible and respectful environment for those experiencing difficulties.”

Maleny Neighbourhood Centre works to build resilience in the hinterland area by providing many different types of activities, and acknowledges social inclusion as part of its core business.

The centre runs a shared community lunch program every Thursday. Volunteers and members of the community can come together to prepare and cook a nutritious meal that they share with the community.

For Social Inclusion Week, Maleny Neighbourhood Centre is hosting a free community dinner to provide a hot meal for vulnerable local families and for the community to enjoy as well.

Join the Social Inclusion Week conversation on Facebook and Twitter and use the hashtag #SIW16.

Get involved in the following Social Inclusion Week events:
Wednesday, November 16, noon to 2.30pm
Caloundra Community Centre Coming Together Community Lunch
58A Queens Street, Caloundra.
Enjoy a free community lunch, information on community programs, groups and activities that are available on the Sunshine Coast for all community members. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Monday, November 21, 5-7pm
Maleny Community Dinner
17 Bicentenary Lane, Maleny.
A community dinner providing a hot meal for vulnerable families. Free event and everyone is welcome to attend.

For information on events taking place on the Sunshine Coast head to