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Canberra Today 22°/26° | Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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Enrol now for some worthwhile new year activities

This week “CityNews” rounds up some of the Canberra region’s best activities that are open for enrolments in the new year.

Whether it’s learning a language, joining a music group, taking driving lessons or getting into the swing of fitness, here are some interesting options for the new year. 

This week “CityNews” has rounded up some of the Canberra region’s best activities that are open for enrolments.

Make 2024 the year for driving

It’s important to learn the most effective and safest methods of driving, including managing the risks as a driver, says Revolution Driver Training CEO Steve Lake.

“First of all, when a learner is taught by a talented instructor, they will be a safer and more skilled driver,” he says. 

“This is critical for their first 12 months as a provisional driver, which is the most dangerous time in their driving journey.”

As part of the Road Ready Centre, Steve says Revolution Driver Training is building a strong team of high-quality instructors who are focused on providing the best learning experience and customer service possible.

“While it depends on the learner driver, we estimate that for most learners who have never driven before, eight lessons, spread out over their learner licence period, is what is recommended,” he says.

“Our company was established with the values of trying to reduce the amount of road trauma suffered by our community, in particular the trauma our youth suffer.

“This is everything that our company exists for, we try to achieve this through the best quality education and learning experiences we can offer.

“Driving lessons are an extension of what we have been doing now for 23 years in classroom-based courses. 

“We have qualified female instructors on staff, and instructors who speak other languages, so that everyone can feel comfortable and supported in their learning to drive journey.”

Revolution Driver Training. Call 6147 6296, or visit

Centre with the community at its heart

Weston Creek Community Centre has provided a diverse range of services to the community since 1978, says manager Yung Tran. 

Adjacent to Cooleman Court Shopping Centre, the centre has four squash courts, a large function hall and kitchen, two meeting rooms and several offices.

“The centre runs exercise and recreation classes, like ‘Mature Fitness’, ‘Zumba Gold, belly dance and yoga for beginners,” Yung says. 

“We also offer printing, photocopying, binding, scanning and the service of a justice of the peace.”

The WCCC houses groups including Stromlo Christian Church, Mountains to Molehills, Solid Rock Defence and Valley Baptist Church, says Yung. 

Other regular users include ACT Masters Squash, ACT Miniatures Enthusiasts, Karilee Calisthenics, Canberra Lacemakers, Yoga Enlightenment, Maison Fencing and many others, he says.

Yung says the centre also manages various rooms for hire, including the Holt Neighbourhood Hall, which includes two small meeting rooms, a large hall and courtyard, next to an oval with a children’s play area with ample parking. 

It also manages the Weston Neighbourhood Hall on Hilder Street, Weston; Flynn Community Hall, a “beautiful space” on Bingle Street, Flynn; and the Chifley Community Meeting Room, a modern space on Maclaurin Crescent, Chifley, says Yung. 

Yung says the centre is now also offering free laundry facilities for people who are homeless or in need. 

He says this service will be available Monday to Friday, 9am-3pm. Booking a time slot is necessary. 

“The centre will provide consumables,” says Yung. 

“This facility is made available with the assistance of Mirvac of Cooleman Shopping Centre.”

Weston Creek Community Centre. Call 6288 0144 or visit

Saturday children’s classes at the Dante Aligheiri Society.

Learn about Italian culture and language

The Dante Alighieri Society (DAS) of Canberra is a prominent member of the international network of Dante Alighieri Societies dedicated to the promotion of Italian language and Culture throughout the world, says president Franco Papandrea.

“Established in 1957, it has been offering an authentic experience of Italian language and culture to the Canberra community for more than 65 years and is widely regarded as the best place to learn Italian in the national capital,” he says.

“It offers the widest range of adult Italian courses available in Canberra at very competitive prices. 

“In addition, fee-paying adult students are able to practice what they learn in the classroom in a welcoming and friendly setting at no extra cost.”

Franco says the DAS is also the only place in the region where non-native Italian speakers can sit exams for the internationally-recognised Plida certificate of Italian competency.

“Thanks to generous assistance by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the DAS employs mother-tongue Italian language assistants to support the teaching of Italian in Canberra’s primary and secondary schools,” he says.

“Membership of the society is open to anyone with an interest in Italian language and culture. Members are provided with an extensive program of cultural and social activities including weekly social conversation groups, special events and social occasions.”

Starting on February 4, Franco says there will be new courses available. 

“A special feature of these new courses are the new courses for children after hours in a variety of schools, and on Saturdays,” he says. 

The Dante Alighieri Society, call 5117 3996 or visit

Inclusive chorus for those living with dementia

Alchemy Chorus is a dementia inclusive choir that meets every Thursday, 10am-noon during the school term at Council on the Ageing (COTA) Hall at Hughes Community Centre, says Trish Cran, publicity and gig manager.

“As a community choir we cater for and we welcome those who are living with dementia,” she says.

“We are different from dementia choirs and we take great pride in trying to make it clear we are not a dementia choir, we are a dementia-inclusive choir. 

“Even though one third of the members actually have dementia, it does not focus on dementia at all.

“It’s for people who are living at home, it’s for couples. 

“The couple might be a parent with dementia and a son or daughter, but mostly it tends to be the spouse or the partner.

“The inspiration came from Brian Triblone, he was sent a video clip of the choir in the US called Giving Voice.

“Brian has had a lifelong participation with community choirs, leading choirs, he obviously loves it and he just saw the need. 

“With an ageing society, the numbers of people living with dementia are increasing. 

“And most of those people live at home for a long, long time with their dementia.

“Their world shrinks as dementia progresses and couples just find that they are marginalised, stuck at home. 

“They disengage from normal social and community activities. 

“So this is a way to keep people engaged and enjoying music.

“We currently have about 90 members and on any Thursday we get around 70 people turning up. 

“It’s just wonderful.”

Trish says Alchemy Chorus always has places available and they never ask people to leave. 

“You need to be able to sing and just enjoy singing,” says Trish.

Alchemy Chorus, COTA Hall, Hughes Community Centre, Wisdom Street, Hughes. Visit for more information. Expressions of interest to 0402 095592.

Giving kids a headstart on their schooling

Kidstart Southside Education and Activity Centre understands that the first five years of a child’s life are crucial for development, says owner Kristen O’Connor.

“Kidstart offers classes for children from five months to five years of age to develop them socially, physically, emotionally and intellectually,” she says.

Operating since 1996 and located in Wanniassa, Kristen says Kidstart offers three distinct and age-appropriate programs to ignite a love of learning.

The first program is for children under the age of three, to attend with an adult, and introduces them to music, stories and stimulating equipment.

The second program is a “Pre-Preschool” program for three and four-year-olds to attend by themselves before starting preschool.

“It has been amazing to see 22 years’ worth kids and their families growing, loving, enjoying and benefiting from the program,” says Kristen.

The third program is Preschool PLUS. It’s designed for children to be involved alongside Preschool. The program is centred on phonics based literacy.

“We use interactive computer sessions to expose the children to the letter sounds, letter identification and letter formation,” says Kristen.

“We are passionate about developing a love of learning in each and every child.

“By allowing them to thrive in an educational setting and experience the joy in exploring and achieving, we hope learning will be a lifelong passion for all our Kidstart kids.”

Kidstart Southside Education and Activity Centre, 65 Sternberg Crescent, Wanniassa. Enrolment enquiries visit

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