New social rooms ready to go

Officer Social Rooms opening.

Dignitaries and special guests came together to officially open the new Social Rooms at the Officer Recreation Reserve last Friday night 10 May.

This much needed project was conceived back more than twelve years ago, and was completed in partnership between the Cardinia Shire Council and the Officer Recreation Reserve Community Asset Committee.

These new rooms boast a large open space that can seat around 200 people for functions and events, a lounge area with gas log fireplace, 270 degrees of viewing out to the two ovals, a beautifully designed and built bar, clever integration with the existing canteen/kitchen space to cater for any type event day or night, DDA compliant toilets a storeroom and cleaners cupboard.

Funding for these new rooms came from a variety of sources including the Federal Government, State Government, Cardinia Shire Council, the sporting clubs, current members and families as well as many past players and officials from the clubs.

The official part of the evening – the unveiling of the plaque was conducted by Cardinia Shire Council Mayor Cr Jack Kowarzik, Federal Member for Latrobe Jason Wood MP, Carol Porter (representing husband Rob Porter former President of the Officer Rec Reserve Committee) and Gareth Sheean President of the Officer Sports Club.

Outside of the official duties, guests were treated to more than an hour and half of anecdotes from AFL football royalty in Kevin Sheedy and Robert DiPierdomenico who entertained the crowd with various stories from their long and highly successful involvement in VFL/AFL football.

Attending the event were Cardinia Shire councillors and council officers, Jason Wood Federal Member for Latrobe, Dr Renee Heath MP and Tom McIntosh MP members for the Vic Eastern Region, the directors and project managers from Builtwise, the architect Hargreaves Design, Foundation Members who between then have donated nearly $150,000 to the project, the Sporting Club Executive Committee members and their sponsors and guests.

President Gareth Sheean highlighted Builtwise who did an amazing job and completed the build one week early.

The architect Hargreaves Design (Pakenham) were a great project partner to have and there were a number of football club past players who donated their skill, expertise, materials and time to the project including Geoff Porter, Ross Clark, Grant Tivendale, Nathan Jones and Jason Hoghton.

Special mention to Pat Pipicelli who worked tirelessly with Rob Porter in ensuring the surrounds of the new building were as good as the structure itself and to Cr Brett Owen who had tirelessly campaigned with the Rec Reserve Committee to the council to inject more funds into this (and other) projects at the Officer Recreation Reserve over many years.

It will be the Officer Sports Club committee that will now manage and operate the building which can now be enjoyed by the sporting clubs of the Reserve as well as local businesses and the community. For booking enquiries email or head to