Cultural & Charitable Foundation

Introducing the Aspire Precinct

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The $15 million ‘Aspire Precinct’ will be a vibrant learning, community and business hub for the Greater Bendigo community. It will be Australia’s first faith-based precinct that fosters inter-faith collaboration, promotes regional resilience and cohesion, provides life-long learning opportunities and supports social entrepreneurs.

While the exact timeframes for completion of the project are not defined at this stage, it is anticipated construction will begin in late 2017.

The Aspire Precinct will encompass a main interpretive centre with space for permanent and temporary exhibitions that will explore faith on the Goldfields and in the wider context. The space will also feature items of historical value from the Diocese and other local faith-based institutions. There will be indoor and outdoor areas for community gatherings and events. There will be an education and resource centre with programs for all age groups, as well as a business hub that will include a café, retail outlet, spaces for business meetings and events, parishioner and social gatherings and more.

The Aspire Precinct is being championed by three ambassadors:
  –    The Hon. Tim Fischer AC, Former Deputy Prime Minister, inaugural Australian Ambassador to the Holy See and Patron of the Aspire Cultural and Charitable Foundation
  –    The Hon. John Brumby, Former Premier of Victoria
  –    Gerry Ryan OAM, Businessman and Philanthropist

The Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst will underwrite the project in the outset. The project will seek support from both the Victorian and Federal Governments. Local and national private and corporate philanthropic trusts and foundations have already started to contribute to a new Precinct Development Endowment Fund, which will offset the future operational costs of the project.

The activities and programs will be designed to provide value to the social, cultural and economic development of Central Victoria. They will be accessible to all local individuals, families and businesses (regardless of religious beliefs), as well as visiting friends and family. It will provide programs for visiting school groups, teachers and business groups, as well as domestic and international tourists.

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