Video URL
Fri 18 September 2020
Audio description

Councillor Watson: Welcome to the virtual sod turning of the Canterbury Community Precinct. 
If we have learned anything in this pandemic, it's that gathering really matters and essentially, this precinct is about the gathering of community. We are creating this new precinct to provide a variety of different services so valued in our community.

Many very important services will be housed in this precinct including the Canterbury Maternal Health Centre, the Canterbury Kindergarten, Playstation Occasional Care, the Canterbury Toy Library, the community garden, Interchange Inner East, the Canterbury Neighbourhood Centre and the Canterbury History Group, and Balwyn and Surrey Hills Historical Societies. Many of these providers have a very long history of operating in Canterbury and serving the Canterbury community. 

I would like to thank the different service groups for their cooperation and enthusiasm for this project and for our community who gave frank and fearless feedback about what it was that was valuable and much needed by them. I would like to acknowledge and thank the Department of Education and Training for the funding they have provided through the Children’s Facilities Capital Program.

I would now like to hand the over to Councillor Jane Addis, the councillor for Maling Ward. Thank you, Jane.

Councillor Addi: I'm really excited to be joining you here today to celebrate the start of the building of the Canterbury Community Precinct. Thank you for coming along.

It was about eight years ago that I started talking with officers about the possibility of creating a local community meeting place. I think it's been a bit like piecing together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Eight providers working out how they can all fit together in this central location in the beautiful Canterbury Gardens.

I’m really grateful to the officer's perseverance and the skill they've shown in working out how to make this work. The project is going to be of great benefit to the community because it's going to ensure the delivery of a number of high quality services.
They're going to be easily accessible and by co-locating them, we believe there's going to be shared benefits that the different organisations can work together and benefit from each other's skills. It's going to provide secure accommodation for in particular two of our local community services.

The Canterbury Norwood Baptist Kindergarten's accommodation doesn't extend beyond 2020, so this precinct will ensure continued access to this important early years service for local families. It's also going to allow the Canterbury Neighbourhood Centre to continue providing their range of programs out of a central location. There's going to be a dedicated space for three of the local historical societies.

People possibly know the building that was the former Canterbury Library that fronts onto Canterbury Road. That building is going to become the home for the Balwyn, Canterbury and Surrey Hills historical societies. They're going to be able to securely store and preserve important items for future generations to enjoy and it will become a central learning place for all of us to go along and learn about our shared history.

The main building is going to have a number of important upgrades. For example, there's going to be a new underground car park for extra cars. There's going to be improvements to the Logan Street underpass, thereby improving accessibility. We're going to ensure that there's increased visibility across the truly lovely Canterbury Gardens. And of course it's such a central location in the gardens and very close to the railway station.

I think the thing that I value most about this project is that to me, Canterbury has a real village feel and I think this project almost mimics the village square where we can bring together a range of different organisations around this square.
Thank you for joining us. I look forward to sharing the journey of this project with you and to join you at the opening. Thank you very much for coming along. 

Councillor Hollingsworth: Hello.

As a fifth generation Boroondara resident, I share in your passion for caring about our community and its environments.

Canterbury has rich history, and as we know maintaining the amenity and protecting the heritage of our neighbourhood character is important to you.That is why we have consulted a heritage architect and worked closely with the project architects to ensure we create a precinct which meets the needs and expectations of our community, while preserving the character of the area for current and future generations to enjoy.

The former Canterbury Bowling Club Pavilion, the Canterbury Maternal Child and Health Centre and the former Canterbury Public Library will all undergo heritage restoration works and feature fit-for-purpose modern facilities on the interior while respecting the abilities of the heritage on the exterior. A number of unique features from the Canterbury Gardens will also be carried through the design, such as the magnificent stone monument pillars featured on the Canterbury Road entrance into the gardens.
They will be replicated and they're seen at the entrance from the Kendall Street section of the gardens and also at the carpark entrance into the community facility.

MP John Kennedy: Ten months ago, my wife Bronwyn Lane and I became grandparents for the very first time to Elsie Quinn. And here she is pride of place on my mouse pad.

However, I've come to talk about your grandchildren and your children.

I'm delighted to be here as we celebrate the start of construction of the Canterbury integrated children's centre and all the advantages that this centre will bring for current and future generations.

The Victorian Government, in partnership with City of Boroondara, has invested $1.6 million for the delivery of this exciting project. And an exciting project it is, which will be extremely important for the Canterbury community.

When it opens in 2022, the centre will be the new home for the Canterbury Norwood Baptist Kindergarten, with increased three-year-old and four-year-old kindergarten places. A great benefit of the children's centre will be the way in which it supports families during the early years of their children's development through both education and holistic maternal and child health services. We know that children who start kinder at the age of three gain academic and social benefits that last a lifetime.

That’s why the Victorian Government is investing in early education to make funded kindergarten available to every three-year-old in Victoria, including in Hawthorn. From 2022, every three-year-old will have access to at least five hours of kindergarten a week and that increases to 15 hours by 2029. That is all part of the Victorian Government's investment in early infrastructure, the largest in our state's history. 

I'm so excited that the Canterbury community gets to benefit from this incredible program and I look forward to watching this program come to life in the years ahead.

Thank you. 

Councillor Watson: This project is outlined as a major infrastructure project and is in line with the Boroondara Community Plan, delivering what our community has told us they want and need. We are proud to deliver a precinct that will continue to meet our community's needs now and into the future.

We look forward to welcoming you to the new Canterbury Community Precinct when we open our doors in 2022