Wheelton Philanthropy generously contribute $250,000 to Power House refurbishment project.
Many Melbournians may recall the Albert Park Lake based Power House building for its iconic fundraising dances of the 1960s, designed to support the visionary diversity and inclusion work of Lord Somers Camp. Today, plans are in place to revitalise the iconic community health and wellbeing centre to underpin and grow the social enterprise of Power House whilst promoting active participation and social connection
The Power House is home to a large function hall, rowing and sporting clubs, theatre and community for purpose organisation, Lord Somers Camp, named after Victorian Governor Lord Somers, and the founder of the original Power House community building in the early 1930’s.
Over time, the building which was reconstructed in the early 1960’s, has degraded and with expansion in women’s sport together with new programs for people with disabilities the building is no longer fit for purpose. Furthermore, with mounting repair bills, ongoing leaks and safety risks the social enterprise sustainability is declining rapidly.
CEO of Lord Somers Camp and Power House, Tim Ryan says: “This building has been quietly supporting many communities through a range of evolving programs and it has given so much, however it’s now time its infrastructure evolves to modern day to ensure it continues for decades into the future”.
Plans are in place and progressed well to commence a major refurbishment of the iconic building. The plan for the mixed commercial and community hub, to be run by the charity as a social enterprise, is supported by the Commonwealth Government investment of $5 million to enhance social cohesion with at risk youth and the disability sector.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Power House redevelopment would give quality assistance to people at risk, who should know they were not alone. “Our commitment will support the organisation to promote health and well-being, active participation and social and intergenerational connection,” he said.
A further $4.5 million has been promised to support the $19.6 million fundraising campaign through philanthropy and commercial support. Melbourne Philanthropist, Paul Wheelton AM KSJ, has identified this key community program as a priority to the health and wellbeing of the community providing significant philanthropic support towards the funding gap, “We see many charities however only a few that have a model that allows them to be financially self-sustaining to deliver widespread community impact”.
Paul went on to say: “Power House needs support to bring new life into an iconic building, however from there we see it as though their gears are wound for decades to come to self-perpetuate community good.”
The project is ready to commence subject to final state funding commitments however with continued commitments across the philanthropic community there is growing support of the importance of this project for the community.