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Community Dinner Welcomes All

Updated: May 4, 2022

MACE is celebrating Neighbourhood House Week 2022 with an exciting, free Community Dinner on Tuesday 10 May, and the whole community is invited.

Neighbourhood House Week, happening 9-15 May, is a national initiative which celebrates the role of over 1,000 neighbourhood houses in local communities across Australia. MACE is one of 400 in Victoria.

“We are super excited to be bringing our community together to celebrate what makes MACE such a special place for some many locals,” CEO Kylie Richards said.

“It’s been a tough time with the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am proud of everything we have done to make it a little easier for our community.

Ms Richards said the dinner is in partnership with our very active Mansfield Multicultural Group, who meet every month to reduce social isolation and build connection and community amongst all our varied cultures represented in Mansfield.

“Our Multicultural Group meet every month, with great attendance. They are excited to welcome more community members to share in a meal and hear about some of the exciting things MACE’s Neighbourhood House is bringing to the community. We invite everyone to RSVP as soon as possible.”

Nicole Battle, President of the national peak body Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association, said this year’s Neighbourhood House Week theme was about re-emerging and rebuilding a harmonious and resilient community after the lockdowns that saw so many Australians isolated.

“I am so proud to lead such a resilient, responsive and adaptive sector, made up of so many selfless and hardworking individuals,” Ms Battle said.

“Neighbourhood and community houses and centres have truly demonstrated their weight in gold over the past two and a half years. While so many other services closed during the lockdowns, Victorian neighbourhood houses stepped up. 96 per cent of neighbourhood houses continued to deliver in varying capacities, and 60 per cent ran food relief programs, responding to a significant rise in demand.

“Other services our houses provided included childcare, remote adult education, social and recreational gatherings, technology support and device hire. Neighbourhood houses also played a valuable role during the rollout of the vaccine program, creating awareness and combating vaccine hesitancy. This Neighbourhood House Week we acknowledge this incredible effort and the staff, volunteers and community members who made it all happen.

Now as we begin to re-emerge, we are looking to rebuild those strong social connections that many people lost, building a stronger, more resilient community than ever before.”

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