Final push to save Gembrook advocacy group

Gembrook Community Group secretary Maria Romanin and chairperson Joan Pepi. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Matthew Sims

The Gembrook Community Group Inc (GCG) has put a call out for interested community members to step up into executive roles to prevent the group being forced to discontinue.

All members of the GCG executive, including the chairperson, vice chairperson, treasurer and secretary, would be vacating their positions at the upcoming annual general meeting on Tuesday 6 August from 7pm at the Gembrook Community Centre.

Secretary Maria Romanin said the group was first established in 2017 as an independent incorporated association.

“Since its establishment, it has worked as a voice for the Gembrook community,” she said.

“This means that we avidly advocate to all levels of government and key stakeholders on identified issues and opportunities for the benefit of the Gembrook community.

“If the executive roles are not filled, there will be no Gembrook Community Group and hence, no voice for Gembrook.”

Ms Romanin said following the Covid pandemic lockdowns, the group had seen a decrease in the number of volunteers.

“We’re pulling teeth trying to get volunteers,” she said.

“The GCG executive are putting a callout to the community to join the group to continue being an important voice for the community.

“By volunteering for GCG, not only will you take an active part in building your community, but you will make connections and friendships with others.

The most recent achievements of the GCG have included the reduction of the speed limit to 50 km/h through the township as a result of advocacy to the Department of Transport and Planning and the establishment of a Road Action Group which would advocate for further safety measures for Main Street, advocate to Cardinia Council for improvement to maintenance of unsealed roads and advocate to the Federal Government for the reinstatement of funding for the Sealing the Hills program.

Ms Romanin said the group were flexible with how much time people were able to volunteer towards the group and its projects.

“GCG understands that people are time-poor,” she said.

“The executive meets regularly and the general membership meet at least four times per year.

“Each meeting runs for approximately two hours and future to the meeting times, members who volunteer to lead a project or working group may need to devote two hours per week at the most for the life of the project.”

For more information, contact