Supporters seek alternative to doomed learning centre

OPPONENTS of the decision to close Camperdown’s adult education centre have decided to investigate setting up their own centre using volunteers.

A spokeswoman for the opponents, Michelle McCallum, said a protest meeting in Camperdown on Wednesday night had failed to shift the centre’s board from its decision to close the Learn Local centre in Manifold Street in the next few weeks.

Ms McCallum said the meeting got “a bit heated” when it became obvious that board members, who addressed the meeting, were not interested in keeping the centre open.

Corangamite District Adult Education Group chairwoman Catherine O’Flynn has said the board intended to close the centre because it had lost a state government contract to provide the service.

She said the centre had been struggling financially for more than two years and had not met a financial audit.

However, Ms McCallum said the centre was a vital community resource for dozens of people who used it to study for educational qualifications.

She said about 35 people attended the meeting and more than 300 had signed a petition objecting to the closure.

“Since the board is not prepared to listen to the community, the community will create its own (adult education) organisation,” she said.

Further community meetings would be held to explore the possibility of getting volunteer tutors from the community to teach skills such as job seeking, computing and budgeting, she said.

However, the proposed centre was unlikely to be able to offer accredited qualifications such as those delivered through the Learn Local centre, Ms McCallum said. 

“We are getting advice on getting incorporated and we will have to find a new home.”

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