It was terrific to officially open the new building for Abacus Learning Centre in Hastings last Thursday (14 April).
I would like to congratulate all the parents and staff on their hard work in turning this dream into a reality.
This would not have been possible without the support of Western Port Secondary College Principal Michael Devine, who generously allowed Abacus to occupy a building on the school grounds for its new facility.
With the help and support of Abacus’ wider circle and the broader community this facility has been transformed into an incredible learning space for children.
Western Port Secondary College students also assisted with the landscaping of the garden and playground area.
This really has been a project that has involved the whole community.
When I first saw the building towards the end of last year it was a derelict mess, in need of a tremendous amount of work. Looking at it now, it is hardly recognisable.
I was delighted to be able to help with the fit-out of the new building by contributing more than $64,000 raised from my 500km Walk for Autism last year.
Abacus has gone from strength to strength since it first began providing assistance for children with autism more than nine years ago. It provides essential therapy and invaluable support to local children and their families.
Places like Abacus Learning Centre can have a dramatic impact on a child’s life and open up a whole world of opportunities their families may never have thought possible.
I first came to know Lauren and Michael Moore (Abacus founders) about five years ago, at a time when I had many parents from across my electorate coming to me in desperate need of assistance for their children with autism.
I had many discussions with the then Shadow Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield and we worked hard to ensure that autism was included in the NDIS. This was a huge achievement and something I hope will benefit children with autism across the electorate.
I hope this new building lays the foundation for Abacus to continue its work for many years to come.