We are a community-based organisation supporting the needs of our local community through the provision of services. Based in the growth corridor of Melbourne’s South East, we are well located to meet the needs of the local area and surrounding district.
Our multicultural community is made up of existing, and new home owners who are establishing themselves in a rapidly growing area. Our programs and activities are reflective of our community and include special interest programs, cooking classes, children’s activities, health and wellbeing programs, and art and craft groups. Everyone is welcome at the Centre, so please come in and talk to our friendly staff and volunteers to find out what programs and activities we offer, and find out how you might get involved.
Our meeting rooms and halls are used by community organisations for functions and events through our venue hire program which facilitates the partnership between community group/organisations and the Centre that provides support and service delivery.
Balla Balla Community Centre is part of the City of Casey’s network of fourteen Neighbourhood Houses and Community Learning Centres’ in the municipality (known as Casey Connect and Learn).
Balla Balla Community Centre unites and embraces our community.
Balla Balla Community Centre aims to provide a positive friendly environment, where we listen to and support people. Our activities connect and strengthen the community to move forward through learning.
Balla Balla Community Centre is run by a team of friendly and passionate staff.
Volunteers are the backbone of our Community Centre and we place great value on the contribution of each and every one of them.
If you are interested in finding out about volunteering at the centre please contact the Centre office and we would be delighted to tell you more about the volunteering opportunities within our organisation.
We encourage people to also consider volunteering as part of our Committee of Governance. This is a great way to make a positive contribution to the local community, as well as a rewarding experience and an opportunity to share existing skills and learn new skills. Governance training is provided, and you will get lots of support from everyone at the Centre. If you are interested in finding out about joining our Committee in our organisation please contact the President through the Centre office.
The Balla Balla Centre project originated from funding through the Department of Planning and Community Development and the City of Casey, and was officially opened on the 28 April 2007. Both the Department of Planning and Community Development and the City of Casey recognised the need for local community groups, organisations and businesses to have a meeting place and so the Centre was designed to accommodate a range of needs from social gatherings and club meetings, to classes and services.
In parallel with the project stage, the City of Casey applied for funding to the Department of Planning and Community Development for Neighbourhood House Coordination Funding to secure a Coordinator to “establish” a Community Centre that would be housed at the Balla Balla Centre. This application was made under the name of Cranbourne East Neighbourhood House.
In March 2007, Maree Cullinan was appointed as Coordinator to establish a Neighbourhood House in the Cranbourne East area. Having the Cranbourne East Neighbourhood House sitting in the Balla Balla Centre caused confusion within the community. Following a community survey, on the 1 January 2008 the entity was renamed the Balla Balla Community Centre and a Steering Group established from local community members. During this time the centre was being auspiced by the City of Casey.
On the 25 September 2009, the Balla Balla Community Centre was set up as an Incorporated Association as set out in the Associations Incorporations Act 1981. The Balla Balla Community Centre presented its first Annual Report at the Annual General Meeting held on the 30 March 2010.
The history of the name Balla Balla has links to the Indigenous community as part of their language. Whilst there are no strict interpretations for the word ‘Balla’, taken in context has two meanings. In one Indigenous language, Balla means ‘resting’ which is also part of the word and suburb, Ballarat which means ‘resting place’. In the second Indigenous language, Balla means ‘mud’, which is a very significant description of the particular area the facility is located in. Originally, at times throughout the year, this land sat at the ‘bottom’ of the swamp. This was a rich resource for the indigenous people and was seen as a ‘seasonal supermarket’. In winter, they would come to the edge of the swamp to collect birds’ eggs, eels, reeds and to harvest bark.
Interestingly, Balla Balla was also the name of one of the first homesteads to be established in the area. Balla Balla may have different meanings in other languages, however the intent in choosing this name was to reflect the history of the area, as well as the indigenous significance.
Balla Balla Community Centre is an Incorporated Association. All participants involved in courses, programs or activities run by Balla Balla Community Centre are required to be members. Membership is an annual fee from January to December and is set by the Association.