By Jessica Anstice
There’s nothing quite like a Teddy Bears picnic to ignite the imagination of a small child, and that was plainly evident at the Dragon Park in Lakeside on Sunday.
With the ongoing commitment of the Residents Committee and unswerving support from Cardinia Shire Council, the park has been developed to become a real hub of activity for families living close by.
The Dragon is a magical backdrop to the playground and the constantly used barbecue area, and now with the new toilet block, it was the obvious place for the Rotary eclub of Latitude 38 to suggest the erection of a children’s library.
Several Lakeside members of the Rotary eclub of Latitude 38 met with councillor Michael Schilling about three months ago to put the idea forward.
Rotary eclub member Viv Armstrong said it was their wish to bring community groups together to collaborate on projects.
“We believe in doing projects as part of the community, not for the community,” she said.
“We want everyone to feel the same level of ownership and be able to congratulate each other on the different contributions that are offered to bring a project together.”
The Little Library was indeed collaboration. Cr Schilling saw the potential immediately and council’s Kevin Alexander knew just the right people to build the library, members from Cardinia Men’s Shed.
Wendy Andrews from the Residents Group was right on top of promoting the project and finding donations of books, and the Rotary eclub of Latitude 38 played the role of bringing it all together.
Ms Andrews thought it would be appropriate to have a grand opening with all the fanfare, and the Teddy Bears picnic was the perfect opportunity.
And who better to be in attendance than young citizen of the year for Cardinia, Meagan Venables, who was given the honour of officially opening The Little Library.
“It was really pleasing to see a parent walk up and put some books on the shelf, followed by some children who started looking for something to interest them,” Ms Armstrong said.
“They were amazed when their mum said it was fine for them to take the books home to read.”
Ms Armstrong said it was important to the members of Rotary eclub to work on projects with others, whether community groups or individuals.
“We are currently working with the Cardinia Council to run an Ageing Safely Forum on 10 September at the Cardinia Cultural Centre,” she added.
“It is another collaboration designed to bring many different groups together to share information, contacts, and assistance to enhance the lives of the older people in our community.
“We welcome anyone who would like to join us in the organisation of the event.”