By Niccola Anthony
The CBD’s unofficial home of everything not-for-profit, Ross House, is competing for a $200,000 government grant in the Pick My Project initiative.
The state government initiative is awarding grants to local projects around Victoria, with the aim of improving facilities and amenities for community groups.
If successful, Ross House plans to create a community conference and theatre space at the Flinders Lane site. The new space will accommodate meetings for tenants, as well as provide a space that can be accessed by the wider community for various activities.
Amber Moore, the Ross House development program manager, is excited by the opportunities that will flow from the project should the campaign be successful.
“It ticks all our boxes in terms of creating opportunities to enhance social connectedness and social bonds and feeling part of a community, because we can run really important community events from the space,” Ms Moore said.
Ms Moore said that the idea of a community theatre festival had been floated around in project discussions and could have a huge impact on social inclusion.
“It’s just really about expanding those services and those opportunities that we can provide for our community and the wider community as well,” Ms Moore said.
“Being the social justice hub of Melbourne I truly feel we represent the city.”
Ross House is managed through the Ross House Association, an organisation set-up to maintain the building, manage available resources and develop community.
The building currently houses 51 tenants, all of whom comprise community groups dedicated towards ensuring a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
Tenants include Australia for UNHCR, Climate and Health Alliance, Shine for Kids and Union of Australian Women (Vic).
The state government has allocated $30 million worth of grant funding under the Pick My Project scheme, which will be equally divided between metropolitan and regional partnership areas.
Of the $15 million awarded to metropolitan Melbourne, a minimum of $1 million will be allocated to each partnership area, with surplus funding allocated based on population.
Community members must vote for their favourite project online by the September 17 deadline to give their chosen project the best chance at securing a grant.
There are 189 local community projects to choose from in the Melbourne 3000 area.
If you’d like to vote for Ross House or check-out some of the other project proposals, head to https://pickmyproject.vic.gov.au/rounds/pick-my-project/ideas