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Colac Corps opens new welfare and worship centre

Colonels Kelvin and Winsome Merrett and Corps Officer Lieutenant Paul Trotter with dignitaries who attended the official opening.

After 135 years of delivering services to the region, Colac Corps has recently opened a $3.44m welfare and worship centre in the western Victorian town.

The new Salvation Army complex features a drop-in centre, worship centre, playgroup area, meeting rooms, showers, laundry, and food pantry for those seeking assistance.

Colac Corps Officer Lieutenant Paul Trotter said it had been a privilege to work on the project through his 18 months as the leader of The Salvation Army in Colac.

He said the centre would serve the community over an extensive area taking in Colac, Winchelsea, Lorne, Apollo Bay, Cressy and Camperdown, providing financial, emergency and emotional assistance.

Victoria Divisional Commander Colonel Kelvin Merrett speaks to the crowd in front of the entrance to the new centre.

Speakers at the official opening on 25 July included Chief Secretary Colonel Winsome Merrett, Victorian Divisional Commander Colonel Kelvin Merrett, Member for Wannon the Honourable Dan Tehan, Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan and Colac Otway Shire Mayor Councillor Chris Potter.

At the opening, Colonel Kelvin Merrett said planning for the centre had begun in 2019 and was a continuation of the activities of the organisation in the area since 1888.

“This building represents the commitment The Salvation Army has to the Colac community,” Kelvin said. “We’re here to stay.”

Kelvin said the building was completely transformed from its former life as Australian Electoral Commission offices.

“It’s a great facility that I’m personally very proud of,” he said.

Kelvin also acknowledged the efforts of the community in volunteering and donations to the work of The Salvation Army.

“The Salvation Army can’t exist without the support of the public,” he said.

Some information sourced from the Colac Herald

Corps Officer Lieutenant Paul Trotter in the pantry at the new welfare centre in Colac. Photo courtesy of the Colac Herald


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