The deaf and hard of hearing community in Bendigo now has a place they can call home following the launch of the Bendigo Deaf Hub on Saturday.
Deaf Access Loddon Mallee project worker Ellie Stewart helped launch the hub which will serve as a gathering space for people who are hard of hearing.
Ms Stewart, who is also a community project developer at Bendigo Health, said it was a dream come true.
"It's something I have been working towards for a long time and have had this vision for a long time," she said.
"Since high school I have had this dream. I grew up in a little community and have also been involved in the deaf community in Melbourne and in deaf sports.
"After that there was nothing really in regional areas, so my focus was to develop a regional deaf community."
Bendigo Health and Access Australia Group partnered to create the hub which is located at Pepper Green Farms in North Bendigo.
Access Australia Group chief executive Liz March said the hub was a terrific project.
"It's a fantastic commitment from Bendigo Health and the Access Australia Group to create space for the deaf and hard of hearing community that is welcoming, inclusive and are free access to everyone," she said.
"Access Australia Group provides support and access to everybody and we want to make sure no community groups feel isolated and left out.
"This is the tip of iceberg. I think it will be a significant and fantastic hub for deaf and hard of hearing people not just now, but in future generations."
The launch saw a number of deaf stall holders showcase their skills and talents.
Ms Stewart said the deaf and hard of hearing community in Bendigo was growing.
"People are learning about the hub and coming out of the woodwork (to be a part of it)," she said. "The committee was set up with 15 people initially and from that it has been growing.
"We now we have about 30 or 40 people in this local region and people are still learning about the hub and coming from afar (to be involved)."
Ms Stewart said the hub was not just focused on the deaf community.
"It includes hard of hearing, deaf-blind people and hearing people who have found their child is deaf and needs somewhere to belong," she said. "It is a great place for a deaf child to develop their identity.
"It really its a place they can Identify and feel they belong. It provides a place where people can come together and have access to thing, find information and know what's happening in the world.
"Deaf people often miss out, so place come together and use our language."
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