After officially opening in December last year, the Munzberg Activity Centre at Barossa Enterprises, Nuriootpa, finally has its name proudly displayed, with signage being recently installed over the entrance of the building.
Geoff and Helen Munzberg of Tanunda, after whom the building is named, stood humbly under the sign, knowing full well the significance each letter carries as a symbol of Barossa Enterprises’ journey from modest beginnings in the Tanunda scrub more than 40 years ago, to what stands today.
“I’m as happy about seeing ‘activity centre’ there as ‘Munzberg Activity Centre’, because in some ways this place takes Barossa Enterprises back to where it started, with the Barossa Valley Rural Activity Centre,” remarked Geoff, who was part of a group of visionary advocates in the late 1970s, who recognised the need for a place for people with a disability to spend time outside their own homes.
“It was done out of a sense of compassion, to kind of take those people off their parents’ hands for a bit and to give the people with disabilities something to do,” he continued.
“I think the approach now is much more enlightened than that. That is, this place, I know from personal experience, helps the people who come here to express themselves and to make a contribution to society.
“It’s those sorts of things that I think are different, and we’re really pleased about that.”
Geoff and Helen’s daughter, Alison, now aged in her late 50s, was born with an intellectual disability, and is one of many who make use of the new activity centre that bears her name.
Since opening, “the MAC” has been used as headquarters for Barossa Community Options, but there is plenty of scope for it to be opened up to the broader community, according to Andrew Murphy, president of Barossa Enterprises Board.
“It’s here for use, for people with disabilities or without disabilities,” he said.
“It’s got a name now, and it’s got a name with a lot of history and reverence for us in our little community here, so we’re just so pleased.
“The next thing is to get more use out of it, because it is a great space.”
As COVID restrictions have eased, it was with much anticipation that the MAC hosted its first quarterly inclusive dance party on Friday night.
Gym equipment is also set to be installed over the next couple of weeks.
It is a delight to Geoff and Helen that a building so beautiful and visible is serving an important and inclusive role.
“(It shows that) as a community we shout out that we are doing things for people with disabilities,” said Geoff.