17 February 2023
A new multicultural community space with a focus on education and empowerment has opened at the Brighton Homes Arena in Springfield Central.
Multicultural Australia will use the arena’s facilities for residents from refugee and migrant backgrounds to access services and support that would help them feel more connected and cared for.
Ipswich City Council Mayor Teresa Harding said the new space reflected the long-term benefits of the arena for the community.
“Council invested in the Brighton Homes Arena as a community asset to be owned and enjoyed by the people of Ipswich and this is a great example of that,” Mayor Harding said.
“This arena is not just a home for the Lions – it’s also a home for any new residents of Ipswich, a place for them to access services to support their settlement and build connections in this great country.”
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said it was great to see the arena activated for use throughout the week.
“Community facilities in the arena will be used every day and there will also be capacity to host cultural festivals and other events,” Cr Fechner said.
“The shared areas will provide a vibrant and culturally inclusive meeting place for the community and it’s great to see council’s vision come to life.”
Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said she was impressed with the Lions’ approach at the Brighton Homes Arena, which was based on programs at the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the North Melbourne Football Club.
“This is a world-class program that will help build vital connections within our culturally rich community,” Cr Jonic said.
Multicultural Australia will use the arena’s meeting rooms, training facilities, auditorium and digital media studio.
The $80 million arena was a joint initiative of the Brisbane Lions, AFL, Ipswich City Council, Springfield City Group, and the State and Federal governments, with council investing over $20 million into the complex.
Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said the opening was further proof of the long-term value from council’s investment.
“Council supported this boutique complex to contribute to the long-term viability of Ipswich, helping to draw visitors from afar, providing opportunities for our bright young sporting stars and gaining spin-off economic benefits for our business community,” Cr Tully said.
Multicultural Australia Chief Executive Officer Christine Castley said the centre would be a space for residents from refugee and migrant backgrounds to access services and support that would help them feel more connected and cared for.
“We work to build communities where all people feel a sense of belonging,” Ms Castley said.
“A part of achieving that is to create spaces for people to connect with those in their community and explore opportunities to engage with the wider community.
“The programs we run will be tailored to meet the needs of the community, with a focus on education and empowerment.”