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Ford Discovery Centre donates $90,000 to Geelong community organisations


MELBOURNE – Jan 24, 2014: The Ford Heritage Trust has donated $90,000 to several key Geelong community organisations.

Recipients are Volunteering Geelong, Diversitat, Karingal and the soon-to-open Geelong Museum of Motoring.

The Trust, made up of representatives from Ford, Deakin University and community representatives, selected the four community organisations to enable them to continue their important community work. The donations will help each organisation further opportunities within the Geelong community.

The Ford Heritage Trust has been managing the dispersal of the many unique and valuable vehicles from the Ford Discovery Centre, which closed in 2012. The Trust has also been able to disperse outstanding funds to the community organisations which had a long-term association with the Centre and contributed to its overall success.

A joint project of Ford Australia and Deakin University, the Ford Discovery Centre was a successful part of Geelong’s exciting waterfront precinct.

Gail Rodgers from Volunteering Geelong said their donation would help them significantly to continue with their work supporting community ventures like the Geelong Museum of Motoring. Volunteering Geelong currently supports hundreds of community organisations.

A spokesperson for the Geelong Museum of Motoring, Ken Parker, said the group was looking forward to a great future in Geelong. “We very much appreciate what the Ford Heritage Trust has done for us,” he said.

The full donation of historic Ford vehicles and artefacts will be housed in its proposed new home at the old Federal Mills, Mackey Street, North Geelong, the heart of Geelong’s manufacturing precinct and in the vicinity of where it all began for Ford.

Diversitat is looking to put their funding to use by giving disengaged youth more opportunities and promoting personal development through hands on practical learning. “They’re developing skills and they’re your workforce for the future,” said Diversitat representative, Kerren Lange.

The organisations are looking to a positive future working together to get the new venture up and running and using their shared resources for the greater good of the community. Excitingly, the museum is slated to open early this year.

Mark Giles, a member of the Ford Discovery Centre Board, said: “It was important to retain as much of the Centre’s history as possible. It was crucial that the Trust ensure that the valuable Ford vehicles and artefacts, along with any remaining funds, stayed in Geelong.”