From the Manager

The news continues to be positive with the COVID virus at an official ‘containment’ level for Victoria I am still reluctant to move around very much – I may have become a little too used to being at home and feeling safe – even if I have felt a bit disconnected from the world. So, I am trying to get used to the idea that it is safe to move around Melbourne and that we can travel around the State. I haven’t moved much out of Altona and Hobsons Bay over the past month, but I did take a couple of days off last week to go to Torquay. It was lovely to feel that we were on the open road – without restrictions to travel. We stayed away from crowds, stayed out in the open mostly and wore our masks unless we were eating. Before we left Altona, we talked about our own guidelines, what would make us feel comfortable and that helped me overcome my anxiety – an anxiety that has grown over the past months. Going forward, I have decided that I’ll wear a mask when I feel I want to (even if it’s not compulsory), if I want to and that I’ll keep my contact with large groups of people to only what I need to do, for a while longer. If you also have any anxiety or concerns about getting back into going out or joining in, hang in there – work on small steps and in the New Year, we will be getting back into our programs and the Centre will be open for you to drop in, have a chat and get some confidence back. If that is a step too far, feel free to call us and we can chat for a while to see if there’s another way we can help.

I have spoken in as many of these messages as possible about the concern I have and that we have, at the Louis Joel Centre, that everyone in our community has enough food to eat. As a mum, I know that I would go without food so that my kids had enough to eat. I know I would need to pay my bills and might not have enough money to buy the vegies and fruit I’d want my kids to have to stay healthy. There is a lot of discussion going on about the shame and guilt associated with not having enough money to provide for our families and ourselves – but this pandemic has created circumstances none of us could ever have envisaged. I absolutely implore you, if you are experiencing lack of food or financial hardship of any kind, please put your hand up. We can help put you in contact with the right people who can give you immediate help and ongoing support. One of the messages we were asked to promote to our community was ‘You are not alone!’ and we would very much like you to know we say that too.

I will continue saying ‘Stay Safe’ but that’s to do with everyday living – stay safe, stay well and stay hopeful. We will get through this.

Kim xx

Art, Craft and Other Things to Keep You Busy

SloFo WeFo Farmers' Market

Check out the Slow Food Farmer’s Market in West Footscray this Saturday and snap up Victorian seasonal produce direct from farmers and artisan producers. All products are grown, reared, brewed, fermented or cooked by the stallholder.

Saturday 12 December, 8am to 1pm | Gold coin donation
Happy Receptions, 199 Sunshine Rd, West Footscray

SloFo WeFo

Creative Bug

We shared a link to the Creative Bug site quite a few months ago now. If you haven't checked it out, or haven't visited for a while, it's well worth a look. Below is a selection of some of the new workshops that have been added, but there are so many more. If you're looking for inspiration for summer projects this is a great resource.

Wood Burned Festive Garland
Learn how to wield a wood-burning tool to create designs and stamp letters on wooden rounds to make a  garland to hang in doorways and windows

From Block to Print: A Printmaking Daily Challenge
Learn the full process of designing, transferring, carving, and printing an image on paper or fabric.

Free-Motion Quilting
Learn how to design your own quilting patterns, create templates, trace patterns, and transfer designs to your quilt. 

Painting on Cookies and Cakes
Turn a variety of cake-and-cookie canvases into edible works of art using icing gel colors, buttercream, decorator brushes and palette knives.


You can get free access to Creative Bug as a member of Melbourne Libraries - join up online.

Geminids Meteor Shower 

The Geminids are one of the most spectacular meteor showers of 2020. Around 120 meteors per hour are expected to travel through Australian skies on December 13th and 14th. The shower takes its name Gemini constellation because the meteors seem to emerge from there.

The shower will be visible from your own backyard on Monday 14 December 2020 from 11.30pm (for about 5 hours). 

Explore Melbourne

5 Bush Tucker Plants for Your Small Garden

Incorporating bush tucker plants into your garden is a great way to increase diversity and resilience. There are some amazing edible natives that have unique and interesting flavours and are easy to grow at home including the blue flax lily, finger lime and native ginger. This article is a short intro to some edible natives that suit small spaces.


Altona’s Carols by Candlelight

Altona-Laverton Historical Society

Carols by Candlelight has become a family tradition within Altona during December and is a magnificent night of catching up with family and friends on a balmy evening in Logan Reserve. But where did it all begin?

In Altona it goes back to 1948 when the Altona Baptist Church, together with the other Altona churches decided that this would be a great event to get families together to sing Christmas carols and remember that this time of year is more about giving than receiving. One of the aims of this event was to raise funds for the Altona Community Hospital.
The initial event was so successful that over 1,000 people filled what was then known as Altona Park to listen to numerous singers, musicians, bands, as well as singing along to their favourite carols for two and half hours. People came from Williamstown, Altona, Laverton and Werribee.

Not only was the initial event an immense success, the tradition has continued every year since and is still coordinated by the Altona churches in the same place each year. Whilst the park is now known as Logan Reserve, it has always been a place where the people always come together meet and celebrate.

Homemade Gifts

I discovered the art of freezing cookie dough when my very clever daughter showed me how to do it. It is so easy to make just enough fresh biscuits when you want them but this time, I’m encouraging you to make a batch or two, roll them into logs and freeze them. They will bake into a wonderful gift – who doesn’t love a freshly baked biscuit, especially when you haven’t had to make them yourself. This is a great gift idea for the kids to get involved in too – from making, rolling, slicing, baking, wrapping and giving. A whole experience for them! A gift that will be baked and made with love. 

  • 125 g butter (softened) 
  • 1/2 cup (110g) white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups (280g) plain flour 
  • 2 Tablespoons cornflour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 

Mix in options 

Classic Chocolate Chip 

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips 

Triple Chocolate Chunk 

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks 
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chunks 
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chunks 

Cranberry and White Chocolate 

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips 

Choc Nut 

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 

Apricot Chocolate 

  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (finely chopped) 
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks 


  • 3/4 cup sprinkles 


  • 3/4 cup M&M's 

Chai White Chocolate 

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips 

Lemon Poppyseed 

  • 1/3 cup poppyseeds 
  • Zest from 1 lemon 


  • Cream butter & both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer on high speed until light & fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. 
  • Add flour, cornflour, baking powder & salt and mix on low speed until combined. Add your chosen mix-ins and beat on low speed until combined. 
  • Split dough in half and shape each half into a roll about 20cm long. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. At this point, you can also put the rolls in the freezer. 
  • Heat the oven to 180°C. 
  • Remove the cookie rolls from the fridge, unwrap and slice into 1cm thick slices, lay out on a lined baking tray with 2-3 cm between cookies and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until starting to go golden. 
  • Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. 
  • Store in an airtight container for 1 week. 

Choccy Orange Sticks

Here is another of our Christmas favourites – again, my apologies if you can’t stop at one! They look lovely packed into clear bags and make a thoughtful gift. I use the orange flesh in jams or in juices. If you don’t have an immediate use for the oranges, you can freeze them to use later – in fact, the frozen orange segments would make a delicious snack on a hot day. Enjoy!

Choccy Orange Sticks

Stuff to Keep the Kids Busy

The Waterhole - The Garden of the Galapagos: Live Show

Catch this family friendly puppet show from A Blanck Canvas at SeaWorks tomorrow. Based on Graeme Base's The Waterhole, there are three sessions on Saturday 11 December at 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 8pm.

Tickets can be purchased through, scan the QR Code on the flyer linked below.


Kids’ Disco State Library

Celebrate the end of the school year in style with a Zoom disco party in your lounge room!

DJ Andrew McClelland will play family-friendly party music for all ages from the 2000s all the way back to the 50s

18 December 2020, 4:00pm–5:00pm | Suitable for 5–12 year olds, their parents and carers.


Wellbeing & Selfcare

Weekly Wayapa Words Webinar

This weekly webinar aims to help us repsond to the current climate of uncertainty through increasing our connection to the earth, to our own wellbeing and to each other. Open to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. 

Thursday 17 December, 7.30pm to 8pm


Challenges during Christmas 2020

If you are finding it difficult to navigate the challenges of a Covid-normal Christmas, this workshop from Joseph's Corner aims to provide you with space to discuss the things that are concerning you and assist you in developing strategies to address them where appropriate. 

Wednesday 16 December, 10am to 3pm.

RSVP: phone 93152680 or 0411475358 or email

Support Services Hobsons Bay and Surrounding Suburbs

If you, or someone you know, has been impacted financially by the pandemic or is facing issues to do with housing or family violence, there is a list of organisations that can provide support on our website.


Hobsons Bay City Council is also providing a range of support for individuals and community groups experiencing financial hardship. There is also a range of emergency relif and support available through Hobsons Bay Has Heart. See this flyer for details.



The Extreme Hardship Support Program is providing support to Victorians who:
  • are unable to access Commonwealth income support (including JobKeeper and JobSeeker) or the International Student Emergency Relief Fund
  • have very limited income, savings or community support.
  • and are a temporary or provisional visa holder, or undocumented migrant

Financial Counselling is a free service that can people assist in dealing with a range of financial issues including debts and fines, early release of superannuation, No Interest Loans, emergency relief and Utility Relief Grants. 


If you need support with something not covered in here, please get in touch with us and we can refer you to the appropriate service.
We acknowledge that we are on traditional lands of the Kulin Nation and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and, through them, to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Copyright © 2020 Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre, All rights reserved.

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