Yagoona Public School celebrated Harmony Day, March 21, by launching its new $100,000 building for the Community Hubs Program.
New Hub building for Yagoona: bringing the community together.
Maria Skotoris, Community Hub Leader at Yagoona Public School, said Harmony Day was all about respecting diversity and fostering a sense of belonging for everyone. She picked Harmony Day to launch the new building because the Hub had a very similar message: “everyone belongs”.
“It aims to engage and connect parents in their school and their community and in doing so improve language, literacy and learning outcomes for not only themselves but also for their children,” she said.
Celebrations at the opening included a smoking ceremony, guest speakers, colourful costumes, and generous families sharing their food and artistic talents.
State Member for Bankstown Tania Mihailuk officially opened the building, which was funded through the Community Building Partnership program.
Ms Mihailuk, who supported the school P&C's application for a grant for the building, said, “It doesn’t just take parents or a school to raise a child, it takes a whole community.”
The Hub was a wonderful opportunity for the school to include not just children but also parents and to enrich all their lives, she said.
“This will not only be a meeting and social room for the Yagoona P&C, but also a welcoming place where parents and students will be able to engage with local support services offered through organisations such as the Bankstown Women's Health Centre, Settlement Services International, and TAFE NSW,” she said
Ms Skotoris, who is also Yagoona P&C President, said the much-needed facility would be a catalyst for bringing the community together.
Previously the Hub ran programs wherever it could, making use of any available areas within the school. Now it had the convenience of running its many programs for parents in one regular space, she said.
“Our Community Hub has over the years helped connect parents to other parents they probably would not have known,” she said.
"This building will be a welcoming space for all the community that will help support connections for families and increase parent confidence, knowledge and learning."
Zeinab Musseme, a parent who is now employed as a direct result of being part of the Hub, said when she first joined the Hub she felt a bond between herself, other parents and the school. She felt belonging.
Because of Ms Skotoris’ confidence in her, she was able to complete the degree for which she was studying and become Community Hub Leader at Georges Hall Public School, she said.
Reflecting on the day, Community Hub Team Leader Lilyana Theodossiou said, “It was great to see how welcoming and adaptable the Hub space is. I saw the room transform from a hype of preparation activity in the morning to a quiet learning space in the afternoon.
“By talking to the women it was evident how much they valued the hub and a number of them mentioned the opportunity and convenience of being able to access education in their local school community.”
The launch of the Yagoona Hub building comes as Community Hubs in NSW is expanding with the addition of 11 new Hubs in western Sydney.