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Celebrating 50 years of community support

Published 20 October 2023

Port Phillip Community Group staff

Port Phillip Community Group (PPCG) will celebrate 50 years of driving social change when the welfare organisation reflects on its golden anniversary at St Kilda Town Hall on 9 November.

PPCG has flourished as a leading welfare, financial counselling and education provider. Each year the group enables more than 20,000 people to achieve their goals and improve their lives through services that provide greater connection to the Port Phillip community.

Our Council enjoys a strong partnership with PPCG, working closely to respond to and prioritise the needs of residents.

Divercity spoke with PPCG Chair and Board of Directors, Gina Fiske, whose involvement with the organisation spans back to when she was a Councillor of the former City of St Kilda.

“We are proud and excited to recognise and celebrate our 50th year anniversary of enduring and empowering services to the community,” she said.

“Our journey started in 1973 as a small St Kilda umbrella group, now delivering multiple services across Port Phillip’s many suburbs and to a greater population.

“As a local community member l find it rewarding working with people with a shared responsibility and willingness to achieve better outcomes. Together with Council and local partners we work to ensure all residents benefit from belonging to an inclusive and vibrant community with access to dedicated support services.”

Gina said there were many highlights in PPCG’s 50 year journey, but was particularly fond of how the organisation adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide much-needed care to community members facing hardship during lockdowns.

PPCG’s Share the Food Program was developed as an agile and responsive initiative to support the community during the strictest of COVID-19 restrictions.

The food relief program provided food staples, fresh food, toiletries and hygiene products as well as COVID-19 information and personal protection items to people facing financial hardship, and for those forced into isolation.

“We saw first-hand the need for people to feel welcome, safe and able to get basic relief of material goods at our Share the Food facility in Port Melbourne,” Gina said.

“More than 50 local groups, business, churches and services all banded together to collect, stock, pack and transport food packs for isolated residents in lockdown.”

Our Council proudly supported the Share the Food initiative by providing $180,000 between 2020-2022 as part of a COVID-19 Relief and Recovery package.

In addition, we have allocated:

-  More than $33,000 in grant funding this year for food relief across Port Phillip from the Victorian Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Region under a research project.

-  $40,000 from our 2023/24 budget for the provision of food relief in Port Phillip while providing the provision of warehousing storage to operate the food hub in Port Melbourne.


Port Phillip Councillors touring the Share the Food facility with PPCG volunteers.

Gina looks forward to celebrating the 50 year anniversary as a way to recognise the collective efforts and generosity of PPCG’s volunteers over the years.

“To endure, excel and sustain our community work as a small not-for-profit charity is no mean feat.

“Fifty years signifies the value PPCG provides to the Port Phillip community and the continued support of our partners is a testament to the benefits and the service we deliver.”

PPCG’s 50th anniversary celebrations will take place at St Kilda Town Hall on 9 November. PPCG is encouraging past members to share their stories and photos ahead of the event.

For more information, visit the Port Phillip Community Group website. As a registered charity, PPCG relies on the generosity of donors to continue their great work. Visit PPCG’s donation page to learn how you can help someone in your neighbourhood.

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