NHILL Neighbourhood House Learning Centre has received statewide recognition after taking home the Victorian Training Award for Victorian Training Provider of the Year.
The awards were announced in Melbourne on Friday.
The centre has also received $10,000 to go alongside the recognition.
Centre chief executive Annette Creek said it was an honour to receive the award.
She said after the centre nominated for the award, it had to go before a panel of judges.
“The criteria was built around an organisation that has gone over and above meeting its community’s needs in training,” she said.
Mrs Creek said the judges recognised the diversity of the centre’s programs, which were tailor-made to suit the Nhill community.
“We’ve been incredibly proactive in going right across the spectrum in our community,” she said.
“From playgroup, to adult education, we just keep our ears and eyes open in our community to find what’s needed.
“A lot of our work is assisting the Karen refugee community to assimilate into life at Nhill, working around the English language and orientation into the Australian lifestyle.
“We want to be here for the whole community, not just particular sections of it.”
Mrs Creek said two programs which the centre was particularly proud of were the job ready program and the Karen language program.
The job ready program aims to equip residents with skills tailored to employment opportunities available in the community.
The Karen language program helped local residents learn the Karen language, the primary language of members of the Karen refugee community living at Nhill.
Mrs Creek said the centre had been able to reach a number of people in the community.
“We would estimate somewhere between 80 to 100 people come through the doors each week,” she said.
“The award is a testament to the dedication of the staff and the committee, tutors and volunteers who really pour their heart and soul into meeting the needs of the community.
“The awards are a great reflection of the work done by small community organisations across the state.”
The centre has 10 part-time employees as well as a number of volunteers.
Mrs Creek said the centre was thrilled to have received the cash prize to further enhance its programs.
“We’re not-for-profit so the money will be poured back into the community to offer more opportunities in a local setting,” she said.
This is the first time the Victorian Community Training Provider of the Year award has been presented.