Story Behind The Sign
Story Behind The Sign
Written by Campbell Elmer
Australians living with disabilities are some of the most disenfranchised populations in our society. Disability support organisations, such as Araluen, aim to change this through the various services they provide. Araluen operates across the North-East and boasts a clientele of 250 adults with intellectual disabilities, and Valley Community Financial Services is proud to support their latest initiative, the Tiger Studio.
Lara Hynes, spokesperson for Araluen, says this new facility at the Diamond Creek centre includes a musical rehearsal and recording space as well as a video production suite.
“We believe that ‘Tiger Studio’ is the only recording and production facility of its type in the area. It provides opportunities for people to learn many new performance and production related skills and produce really exciting work in a professional standard setting,” she says.
The studio has been three years in the making, and is a tribute to Tony Barden, a member of the Araluen family who passed away in 2016. Lara says the studio was born out of “Tony’s love of music, along with a desire on the part of his family to fund and create a memorial to benefit Araluen and the wider local community”.
During the fundraising for the studio, the Diamond Creek Community Bank Branch donated $6,579 to the completion of the Tiger Studio. This was not just an investment in community assets, but a way to contribute and enrich the lives of disabled members of our community.
Lara says the new facility was developed with the idea of sharing in mind.
“An important factor of ‘Tiger Studio’ is that it not only gives our participants an outlet to tell their stories in their own words and share them via various digital publishing channels, but also promotes greater community engagement as we seek to bring in external artists to work with us and involve the public in the story-making process.”
Lara also claims the Community Bank has been a “major partner” in the success of Araluen’s artistic vision in the wider community. “The Bank plays a valuable role in connecting the community and the support offered means many valuable projects happen that might not otherwise.”
The Community Bank has done this not just through donations to the Tiger Studio, but through Araluen’s Art Connects program, which aids artists with disabilities to showcase their work around Nillumbik Shire. Works have been shown in many libraries, council offices, and even on the walls of our Community Bank branches. These pieces may also be up for sale, which allows artists to earn their own income by doing something they love.
Valley Community Financial Services believes that supporting local organisations like Araluen is the key to a strong community, because when our most vulnerable can thrive, we all do.