Art manager

The director of the Altona center passes the baton

Benjamin millar

When Kim Reilly took on an administrative role at the Louis Joel Arts & Community Center shortly after it opened, she had no idea she was starting a 15-year stay at the center.

After spending the past six years as director of the popular Altona organization, she now hands the reins to new director Gina Kennedy as she heads into a busy retirement.

Ms Reilly said she was proud to have been part of a trip that has always had the community as its heart.

“Before the opening, we were the Altona hospital, so we already had our roots in the community as a community-built hospital,” she said.

“Anyone who knows us knows that you can visit us for all kinds of things that connect you to the things that make your life better – it could be art classes, tailoring, art therapy or kitchen for men and barbecue club for men. “

Ms Reilly said that as a community center it has always served the needs of the Altona community.

“So when you see a need for social connection for men who may not be interested in other places, then you start that,” she said.

“Any community center is what the community needs at all times. “

With Melbourne just emerging from another long Covid-19 lockdown, Ms Reilly said it was more important than ever to rebuild social ties.

Not that the Louis Joel Arts & Community Center rested on its laurels during the physical lockdown – the center quickly pivoted to online offerings and other forms of connection.

“Over the past year and a half we’ve really increased our online presence, we’ve made phone calls to people to stay in touch and volunteers have reached out to the men who normally participate in our programs,” he said. she declared.

Ms Reilly said she was proud to have been able to leave the organization in good shape and the facilities “looking good” with some recent upgrades.

“It’s always been done on a low budget, but we’ve managed to keep it modern and keep it aesthetically beautiful,” she said.

As for her “retirement”, Reilly expects to be busier than ever.

“I belong to about six or seven community groups,” she said.

“My mission is always to make a difference.

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