In Summary

Melba Support Services, a not-for-profit organisation supporting people with disabilities, today announced it was relocating its Ormeau Road adult training service in Mt Evelyn to Swinburne University’s former Lilydale campus.

“We are grateful to Swinburne University for making one of the buildings on the campus available for our use,” Melba chief executive Glenn Foard said.

“It is a perfect location and a great building. The building is accessible for people who use wheelchairs and has sufficient space to meet the needs of people we support.”

Melba provides training to adults with disabilities, focusing on pre-vocational and vocational skills, communication, literacy, numeracy and daily living skills. Melba programs fall within the current ‘‘public use-education’’ zoning for the Lilydale site. Under the terms of the agreement, Melba will rent the building from Swinburne.

“This new location will enable us to expand our capacity and meet the local need for our training services,” Mr Foard said.

“People using our services will benefit from being closer to public transport and community facilities.

“We have been based in Mt Evelyn for 40 years and will continue to have a significant presence in the township. Other services will continue to operate at three Mt Evelyn locations, including Melba’s shopfront in Wray Crescent.

“We want to remain part of the Mt Evelyn community, but we also want to play a greater role in the Lilydale community and service the entire Shire of Yarra Ranges.

“We are looking forward to building relationships with businesses, the Lilydale High School and local community groups.”

Mr Foard said Melba would work collaboratively with any other services or organisations that might locate to the campus in the future.

Swinburne Vice Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson, said Melba Support Services’ move to the site was in line with the university’s commitment to creating a positive future for the former campus.

‘’In considering the future of Lilydale, we have been guided by the principle that we want the site returned to productive use. The work of Melba Support Services clearly meets that principle.’’

Melba was awarded the title of Community Group of the Year by Yarra Ranges Council in 2013 and is the first organisation in Australia to have its programs recognised for person-centred excellence by the US-based Council on Quality and Leadership.

The Lilydale campus closed on 1 July 2013 and former staff and students relocated to Swinburne’s other campuses at Hawthorn, Croydon and Wantirna.