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Birallee propagating house whole view (2)

 

We are a busy neighbourhood house situated at 39 Emerald Avenue, West Wodonga, a modern venue able to conduct training workshops, and hold small or larger scale community events and festivities. Operated by a dedicated Committee of management drawn from vast experience in the local community, Birallee has the ability to deliver programs that encourage and engage members of our community, by providing them with the means to make positive change in their circumstances. We provide access to a fully equipped training facility comprising integrated sound system, Laptops, iPads and data projection available in either 3 separate break-out rooms, or one large open space as required. Birallee is close to schools, public transport and local shops.

Some of the personal development programs on offer include Basic sewing, scrapbooking, Tai Chi (Advanced & Beginners), Basic food skills in the kitchen (including safe food handling), Gardening using worm planters and permaculture principles, including learning to construct furniture and planter boxes (wicking style) using recycled items. Our Neighbourhood house partners with local mainstream and special needs senior and junior schools and support networks, to provide our youth with voluntary community and work experience placements on a year round basis.

For over 9 years we have conducted a gardening and emergency food relief project called “Our Table to Yours”, where we grow and prepare meals for freezing and distribution to anyone experiencing hardship in the local community. Recipients of our meals together with our volunteers, come from a broad cross section of the community. Many charitable agencies, health providers, and social outreach organisations benefit from our meal distribution, with many of the participants in our programs attracted to Birallee because of its fair and non-judgemental approach and by virtue of the mutual benefits that can be experienced once becoming involved. In 2016 we distributed in excess of 25,000 meals.

Our programs have developed beyond the class room door, or the garden gate in this instance, and we have a large community garden precinct on site, in which we encourage anyone, regardless of age or ability, to pick up a trowel and grow food for themselves. We provide an allotment, fully stocked with nutritious soil, skilled tutors drawn from the local area, and a fully equipped kitchen run by capable volunteer cooks, in which to develop meals out of what is harvested. No produce is wasted, as everyone is encouraged to take advantage of the daily food exchange and “Food is Free at Birallee” initiative where members of the public are encouraged to bring in their excess fruit and vegetables, and share with those requiring access to food.

Throughout all of its programs, Birallee aims to build a stronger community by strengthening social and family relationships. Check out our Facebook page http://www.facebook/Birhouse.com or email admin@birhouse.com.au to find out more and become involved!

Our Staff

Ed Foulston - Chairman

Ed has volunteered at Birallee Park Neighbourhood House for many years and is our current Chairman.
He has developed and grown the community gardens from 3 large garden beds to over 40 garden beds, as well as numerous smaller planter style beds, with worm farm and water wicking initiatives installed at the Neighbourhood House.
Ed has also helped expand the "From our Garden to the Community Table" community garden program through schools and educational programs which teaches how to make sustainable and portable garden beds, many of which are being utilised by several schools across Albury/Wodonga.

Ed can be found in the gardens helping our volunteers most days!

Sue Slater - Projects Manager

Enjoying the social interaction and developing a heightened community awareness after attending the Neighbourhood House to learn patchwork and embroidery, Sue soon decided to take on the role of Committee member, wishing to have a more active role in the future direction of the House.
With her work experience in bookkeeping, Sue soon agreed to take on the mantle of Treasurer, and later, after a 3 year stint in the Coordinator’s role from 2012, she left the committee to take on Project Management to oversee what had become a thriving neighbourhood house.. This role allowed for the extension of Birallee’s projects and operations generally within our community, using the garden project “From Your Garden to the Community Table”, and our well recognised and appreciated “Our Table to Yours” emergency food relief program as examples of social inclusion and training for valuable volunteering and job opportunities. Even though Sue is now Secretary of the House, both programs continue to keep Sue and Birallee extremely busy fostering social inclusion, developing new skills training, improving wellbeing in the community.

Amanda Skrypczak - Coordinator

Amanda joined Birallee Park in September 2015 and enjoys her Coordinators role which she has embraced with gusto!

She is the first person you meet and is able to answer all your questions about the day to day running of the centre.

Whilst Amanda has a background in childcare, she also has extensive experience in Management and enjoys chatting to all who come into the Neighbourhood House!

She oversees the running of all classes and workshops throughout the centre, and is always on the lookout for more classes to cater for the diverse interests of our community! Amanda provides the vibrancy to our House and is always cheerful, coordinating our valuable emergency food relief programs, and provides a compassionate point of contact for those requiring assistance.