Essential upgrades for Myuna Farm

From left to right: Noelene Duff PSM, Rider Sebastian with RDA volunteer, RDA Victoria president Tanya Twaits and Gabrielle Williams MP. 408180_21. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS.

Myuna Farm’s pavilion was refurbished and officially opened last week, Friday 24 May featuring increased accessibility, inclusivity and functionality.

The works saw the demolition and construction of a new amenities area, a new compliant access ramp system, and a wheelchair-accessible viewing platform and seating area to better cater to the needs of the riders, volunteers and visitors.

Casey’s chair of administrators, Noelene Duff PSM said that “with so many valuable organisations who operate from this space on [a] daily basis, it was important for Council to hear the challenges these groups face and how we can support their ongoing operations and address building compliance concerns”.

Located in Doveton, Myuna Farm is the City of Casey’s community farm, which offers annual events, workshops, school excursions and interactive animal experiences for locals and visitors alike.

Myuna Farm is also home to several other programs and services operating from the facility, such as Riding Develops Abilities (RDA) and the Dandenong Learning Centre Campus.

“The upgraded pavilion, particularly the addition of a changing places toilet, ensures that members of our community with a disability and high support needs, have access to suitable bathroom facilities,” Ms Duff said.

Ms Duff was joined by Dandenong state member Gabrielle Williams, Casey ceo Glenn Patterson, RDA president Tanya Twaits, RDA president at Myuna Farm and other representatives involved in the project.

Ms Williams said that “we’re pleased to support upgrades to these popular community facilities so more people can enjoy them now and into the future”.

“I’m thrilled that this funding is making a difference to the families and children who come visit Myuna Farm, giving them the opportunity to interact with animals and learn about Australian farming and sustainability,” she said.

As part of the Myuna Farm Master Plan, the council worked alongside RDA volunteers to identify opportunities to enhance the functionality of the existing pavilion and improve the general experience.

Tanya Twaits also provided an insight into her son’s experience with the program, saying that “I was re-introduced to RDA Victoria five years ago when our son started at our local centre in Daylesford”.

“He sometimes arrives feeling anxious, but once he is on the back of his horse, Titan, all [of] that changes, he’s like a flower opening in the sunshine, he relaxes and talks nonstop to the volunteers,” Ms Twaits said.

The upgrades were made possible through the support of the State Government’s Growing Suburbs fund, with a grant of $351,105 and an additional investment of $30,895 from the council to the pavilion.

The fund itself represents a $440 million state government investment over 10 years to provide critical local infrastructure, with the most recent 2024-25 Budget providing an additional $5 million and administered by the Office for Suburban Development.

Minister for Suburbs Sonya Kilkenny said that the fund “supports thriving communities”.

“I’m delighted that this important project, in partnership with Casey City Council, will improve accessibility and deliver enhanced health and wellbeing outcomes for the community,” she said.