Leisure centre staff keep parks network thriving

Council’s leisure centre staff are helping to keep Brimbank’s parks looking great for the community while doors to the centres remain closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 18 leisure centre staff have taken on alternative duties since mid-April, including parks and maintenance, and working in community care delivering Meals on Wheels to older and more vulnerable people across Brimbank.

Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou said she is proud of the enthusiasm and flexibility of leisure centre staff in taking on work in parks and Meals on Wheels while centres remain closed.

For those in parks, the work might involve weeding, litter collection, edging, brush cutting, pruning, mulching garden beds, uplifting trees and roundabout planting.

Leisure centre staff are enjoying taking on different work across Council.

‘It is good to be a part of a greater cause to help out the community and see a different side of Council that I am not accustomed to. I have met lots of great people and learned lots of new skills which I greatly appreciate,’ customer service officer and gym instructor Fady Fanous said.

Gym instructor Shane Charles even saw a ringtail possum sleeping at the bottom of a tree on his first day working in parks.

‘I’m working outdoors with an awesome team in parks and am absolutely loving it! The opportunity has been great for me both professionally and personally,’ Shane said.

‘While our pools and gyms may be closed, having a well-maintained parks network helps our residents and families to stay active and enjoy getting out for some fresh air during isolation while walking, running or riding their bikes,’ Cr Papafotiou said.

‘Council is adapting the way we deliver services and do business during this pandemic, and the vast majority of our staff are able to continue working in their substantive roles.

‘Our leisure centre staff are currently unique in taking on alternative duties, however other council staff may follow suit, depending on the length and ongoing effects of this pandemic, to offer the best service to our community.’

Brimbank leisure centres are also continuing to offer classes and resources online while centres are closed, via their Facebook page, YouTube channel and via the Les Mills online platform.