New community centre for Christmas Island's seniors

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Number: A24/2016

Date: 26 August 2016

Below is the media release received from the office of Senator the Honorable Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Local Government and Territories, after this morning's official opening of the Christmas Island Seniors Centre.

New community centre for Christmas Island's seniors

Christmas Island's senior citizens will keep their minds and bodies active through exercise, games, art and more after the island's first purpose built seniors recreation centre was officially opened today.

Minister for Regional Development and Deputy Leader of the Nationals Fiona Nash said seniors of all abilities would have their lives improved by the new centre after the Coalition Government invested $450,000 to build the $508,000 centre.

“The local community told us how much they wanted this project, so we know local residents and families will use and benefit from it,” Minister Nash said.

"Keeping the mind and body active as we age is incredibly important and this centre will help local seniors do exactly that.

“Seniors and elders are a vital part of any community—they pass on wisdom, stories and experiences and make us a better society.”

Christmas Island Administrator Barry Haase joined Shire of Christmas Island's Deputy President Cr Kee Heng FOO representing President Gordon Thomson and the community to celebrate the opening of the Centre.

“The Coalition Government Community Development Grants Programme is about supporting infrastructure across Australia that promotes stable, secure and viable local and regional economies. This new Centre is a wonderful example of achieving the programme goals by enriching the lives of all senior citizens on Christmas Island,” Mr Haase said.

“Christmas Island has over 250 seniors and many are members of the Christmas Island Seniors Association, who will operate the Centre through dedicated volunteers.

“Activities are aimed at providing members with a sense of belonging through socialisation and will include arts and craft, exercise, games and healthy lifestyle programs.”

Mr. Gordon Thomson said the Shire was thrilled to partner with the Australian Government on this long awaited project.

“I anticipate engagement with the Centre will continue to grow as residents are provided with better access to social and cultural activities, generating a more integrated community,” Mr Thomson said.

The Senior Citizen's Centre is co-located in Christmas Island's community hub with the Poon Saan Community Hall.

The project was made possible with the Coalition Government investing $450,000 and the Shire of Christmas Island contributing $58,349.

Barry Haase
Administrator
Indian Ocean Territories