“Wandana opens doors to new opportunities, for volunteering, friendship, learning, and meeting people outside your cultural group’’
Dijana Karaahmetovic
 Manager, Wandana Community Centre

Acknowledgment of Country workshop 

Would you like to learn how to do an Acknowledgment of Country in Kaurna language?

Uncle Frank Wangutya Wanganeen will teach you how at a workshop on Thursday, March 18, at Wandana Community Centre, Gilles Plains.

Uncle Frank is passionate about reviving Kaurna language and culture, and will take you on a cultural journey as he explores the difference between welcome to and acknowledgement of Country, it’s importance, and the significance of delivering this in Kaurna language.

 This will be an interactive session. Bookings are essential.

Please contact Wandana Community Centre on 8215 6330 or email crobb@centacare.org.au for more information and to book your place.

 

Wandana featured in The Southern Cross

The Southern Cross newspaper recently visited Wandana Community Centre to see what makes it tick.

Always a hive of activity, the centre is a popular meeting place for people of all ages and cultures, and has been part of the Gilles Plains community for more than 20 years.

Explore Wandana’s activity schedule HERE and CLICK to read journalist Lindy McNamara’s story:

Wandana connecting local community

2021 Activities Guide

Wandana Community Centre is offering a range of accredited and non-accredited classes through our ACE funding in 2021, with a focus on building confidence and skills in English language, workplace tasks and digital literacy.

The ACE programs commence at the start of Term 1, while other activities begin in mid January.

Open our What’s On guide HERE.

We offer a wide of supports for families and individuals including advocacy, information, counselling, assessment and referral pathways.

Interpreting services are available and provided on request.

For more information about our Family Support Program, click HERE.

Wandana welcomes new manager

Laughter and friendly faces once again fill Wandana Community Centre.

The much-loved space has reopened to the public, exuding the welcoming spirit that has entrenched it in the heart of Gilles Plains over the past 20 years.

With a new face at the helm, and a packed activity diary, Wandana is bringing much-needed cheer and connectivity in the wake of trying times.

“We’re back,’’ says Manager Dijana Karaahmetovic, who began in the role last month, after joining Centacare from the Australian Refugee Association.

“We are open again and it’s an exciting time at Wandana.’’

For weeks the Centre was quiet, after face-to-face services were suspended and replaced with virtual and phone-based supports due to COVID-19.

But today the Blacks Rd site is abuzz with young and old, who have returned to learn new skills and forge friendships.

Many are new arrivals from Afghanistan, India, Poland, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, China, Iran, Turkey and beyond.

For them, the space is much more than just a place to meet; it’s a crucial entry point into the local community – and a new way of life.

Some are here for playgroup and social support, others for beginners English, accredited training, or to help out in Wandana’s thriving community garden.

“I think people often see community centres as just a place to hire, or to do fun activities, but they are so much more,’’ Dijana says.

“They are a place of acceptance and belonging, and are often the first point of support for people to connect with the services they need to find a pathway forward.’’

Dijana knows first-hand the challenges that come with settling in a foreign country, and the difference a place like Wandana can make in bridging cultural divides.

In 1996, aged 11, Dijana and her family arrived in Adelaide from Prijedor, Bosnia, on a humanitarian visa, seeking refuge from the Bosnian war.

She has drawn on this experience a lot over the past decade, while working in community development, youth services, and with humanitarian arrivals.

“When you belong to a certain community, you can easily get lost within that,’’ Dijana says.

“It’s important for your settlement, wellbeing, education, employment and for prospering as an individual, that you branch out.

“Wandana opens doors to new opportunities, for volunteering, friends and meeting people outside your cultural group.’’

Dijana hopes to build on the Centre’s reputation as an inclusive space while innovating along the way. There are plans for a homework club for secondary students, and for greater engagement with the Aboriginal community.

She would also like to grow Wandana’s dedicated band of volunteers.

“It’s heartwarming to see how many people want to support new arrivals to find their place in a new country and really excel in life,’’ Dijana says.

 

 

What’s on at Wandana

Activities are back in full swing at Wandana after the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Each day offers something for everyone, from working in our beloved community garden to language classes, crafts, computing and social support groups.

Activities run during the school term and bookings are essential.

Browse our diary snapshot below or download our activities guide HERE. For more information, please phone 8215 6330.

For more information about our community garden, click HERE.

Monday
  • Patchwork Quilting
  • Walking Group
  • English Class *Accredited training
  • Move to the Beat – children’s dance and drama class for 5 to 13-year-olds
  • Community Garden

Help our beloved community garden grow by building connections, sharing skills and forging new friendships in our all-organic green space. From raised beds to seasonal produce, flowers and herbs, the garden is flush with varieties. Join us at 9am each Monday. We work through to midday and break for morning tea.

 

Tuesday
  • Women’s English *Accredited training
  • English Conversation
  • Playgroup
  • Senior’s Fitness Class
Wednesday
  • Reading & Writing in English *Accredited training
  • Beginners’ English
Thursday
  • English Language & Numbers
  • Women’s Social Support Group
Friday
  • Craft
  • Online Computer Skills *Accredited training

Farewell, Rille

At the heart of a strong community is a meeting place where people gather, share information, learn, and lift one another’s spirits.

In Gilles Plains, that place is Wandana Community Centre.

For many, Manager Rille Walsh has been the welcoming face of the centre, where she has always endeavoured to foster and encourage personal growth and lifelong learning.

Rille will retire on Friday, ending a 19-year association with the Centre, and a long and successful career at Centacare.

Originally located in Wandana, Rille oversaw the Centre’s relocation to Blacks Rd at Gilles Plains, where it has cemented its reputation as a place run for and by the community, respecting people from a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, ages and gender.

Under Rille’s management, the Centre has provided countless activities, from school holiday programs to volunteer opportunities, adult education classes and more.

A strong advocate for social justice and cultural diversity, Rille was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2006 in recognition of her service to the community and her involvement with organisations supporting single parents and their children.

In 2013, Rille was made an Honorary Member for Community Centres SA Inc. for her community development work, and as a member of the Community Centres SA Board of Management.

Rille’s passion and commitment to supporting the most vulnerable in the community has been widely acknowledged and has influenced policy at state and national level for many years.

Rille says she will the camaraderie at Wandana the most.

“The staff team here is great, both paid staff and volunteers, and I will miss working with them.

“As well, there have been so many wonderful people who have been part of the community centre and the local community, who I have come to know over the years.”

 

 

Keeping connected from afar!

Centacare’s beloved Wandana Community Centre at Gilles Plains may be operating a little differently amid COVID-19 restrictions but it continues to foster a strong sense of community spirit.

With face-to-face services and supports suspended for the time being, our team has been busy behind the scenes creating content for Centacare’s YouTube channel.

From virtual story times to computing lessons, Wandana staff are here to help meet your needs from afar – until we can once again gather at the centre in person.

Check out what we’ve been up to by clicking on the videos below or visiting our YouTube space HERE.  

 

 


You can also listen to Manager Rille Walshe talk about community spirit and COVID-19 here:

 

The heart of a strong community is a meeting place where people gather, share information and forge friendships.

The Wandana Community Centre is run for and by the community at Gilles Plains. Respecting people from a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, ages and gender, Wandana encourages personal growth and lifelong learning. See you soon!

Justice of the Peace service

Do you need a Justice of the Peace (JP)? A JP is now available on Tuesday and Thursday at Wandana from 1.30-3.30pm. A JP acts as an independent and objective witness to documents people use for official or legal purposes. For example, you may need a JP to certify a true copy of an original document, witness a statutory declaration, or certify a person’s identity. Bookings are generally not required.

Computer classes

Basic digital and computing skills play an important role in job hunting. Get work ready and learn how to use programs such as Word and Excel at our weekly computing classes. They are a great way to learn new skills and increase your confidence behind a screen. We also hold sessions for beginners. If you’ve never used a computer before, do not worry! We will help you get started and teach you how to navigate the web. Bookings are essential. For more information, please phone our team at Wandana 8215 6330 or email wandanacc@centacare.org.au

Community Garden

The grounds of the Wandana Community Centre house our community garden, with shared (not individual) plots. Produce is distributed among the gardeners and the Community Centre Kitchen. The garden is also home to a fruit and nut orchard, bush food area, indigenous plant trail and raised garden beds to assist people with disabilities.

The garden promotes knowledge about sustainable food production and nutrition while being a great way to keep fit and make friends.

Seniors Fitness Class

Are you keen to get on the move with gentle exercise? Our qualified fitness instructor will support you to get back on your feet at our Seniors Fitness Class, held every Tuesday at Wandana Community Centre, 14 Blacks Rd, Gilles Plains. Class cost is $5. A pre-assessment may be required at a cost of $15. All ages welcome. For more information, phone the team at Wandana 8215 6330 or email wandanacc@centacare.org.au

Lovely Lunches

Wandana’s team of volunteers cooks a three-course halal meal every Wednesday during school terms. The ‘Lovely Lunches’ are $8 and include tea and coffee. Everyone welcome! Lunch is served from 12pm.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

The Centre is also home to several English classes throughout the week. Catering from beginners to advanced, these classes are also available specifically for women. Child care is also available and classes cost $2 per session.

 

Program details

Who: People living in Adelaide’s north. However, all are welcome.

How: Just drop in!  You’ll find the Centre at 14 Blacks Road, Gilles Plains.

Where: Based at Gilles Plains.

Contact: You can reach the Centre on (08) 8215 6330 or by email at wandanacc@centacare.org.au

Activities Guide: Take a look at the Wandana Activities Guide for our current term.

Office Hours: Monday to Thursday (9:00am – 3:30pm), Friday (9:00am – 12:00pm)

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