Hills Hub in Emerald
- The hub is a beautiful, accessible and integrated facility that will support various volunteer, community and local business initiatives, bring several community groups and programs under one roof, and provide a great location for community, arts and social events.
- Several community groups and organisations are currently operating from the facility.
- Rooms and spaces in the hub are available for hire on a regular or casual basis. Contact the Hills Hub Placemaker for more info.
Opening hours and COVID-19 restrictions
Masks are currently required indoors at this facility for all persons aged 8+ unless a medical exemption applies.
Check-in is required upon entering the facility and persons aged 18+ must provide evidence of vaccination status or an exemption.
Open to the public: Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm
Community groups and organisations operating from the hub
Corner of Belgrave-Gembrook and Beaconsfield-Emerald roads, Emerald
(Next to Worrell Reserve and Emerald Library, directly opposite the shops).
Parking is available in the Worrell Reserve car park. Enter the car park via the roundabout at the intersection of Belgrave-Gembrook Road and Emerald-Monbulk Road.
The bus stop is located right outside the facility.
Features of the facility
- 3 multi-purpose rooms (can be converted into 1 large hall)
- Large kitchen with servery
- 2 community lounge areas with tea stations
- Entry foyer and reception area
- Accessible amenities (available to the public during office hours).
- Workshop and loading bay
- 2 training rooms (can be converted into 1 large training room)
- One consulting suite
- One meeting room
- One informal meeting space
- One arts/performance space
The Hills Hub is connected to Emerald Library via a pathway, landscaping and a reading garden, providing a lovely outdoor space for people to gather.
Photo slideshow of the Hill Hub
Support for local business and the arts
Business and training opportunities
- The Hills Hub gives local businesses and training organisations access to meeting, consulting and training rooms to support home/small businesses and improve local training opportunities and employment pathways.
- Increased use of the precinct will benefit local cafes, shops and other businesses.
The arts and performance space and events program will support existing and emerging artists and increase local participation in and appreciation for local arts projects.
Management of the Hills Hub
Council employs a full-time Place Maker to manage the Hills Hub.
Our Place Maker will:
- oversee the smooth day-to-day operations of the hub
- nurture strong, collaborative relationships between hub stakeholders, and foster community connections and leadership
- build a year-round program of events and activities.
How the Hills Hub benefits the community
The Hills Hub responds to the emerging needs of local residents in Cockatoo, Emerald, Gembrook and surrounding Hills townships.
Bringing several community groups under one roof better connects people in the community, increases social interaction, and provides improved access to a range of community activities including skills-based learning.
The $8.1 million Hills Hub project was funded by:
- Cardinia Shire Council: $5.97 million
- The Australian Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund: $1.5 million
- The Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund: $1.5 million
- Dandenong Ranges Community Bank Group in partnership with the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Project Group: $250,000
Working with the community on this project
· The Hills Hub, which has been a number of years in the making, was developed in close consultation with the local community.
· To ensure the hub reflected the community’s needs, Council and the community established the Hills Hub Advisory Committee.
· The committee represented a cross section of stakeholders and interested parties to ensure the project built on community strengths and promoted community leadership.
The committee met regularly throughout the project with members representing these organisations:
· the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Project Group
· Emerald Mechanics Institute
· Emerald Men’s Shed
· Emerald U3A
· Emerald Village Association
· Lions and Rotary clubs
· Puffing Billy Toy Library
· Ranges Ward Councillors
· the Worrell Reserve Committee of Management
· many individual community members.
The advisory group met monthly from February 2015 and started the first phase of the design process. The preferred design concept was endorsed by the community after extensive engagement and consultation.
Council acknowledges the community, stakeholders and contributors for their ongoing collaboration and perseverance. In particular, we thank the advisory group, who worked diligently to ensure the project moved forward, and the Emerald Mechanics Institute, who managed community programs at the former hall over the past 25 years.