Aspire Precinct


Macleod and Ligar Street, Bairnsdale Monday to Thursday 10am to 3pm.

For over 25 years Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre (PNC), a Learn Local Organisation, has been delivering award winning pre accrediated courses that support participants pathways to employment.

Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre in partnership with Adult Community and Further Education (ACFE) and the Jobactive program has developed the
Aspire Program: a new pathway to employment program that has two main streams:

• The Workshop (Upscale & Recycle)
• Retail Outlet (Dressing for Jobs Op Shop)

The Workshop (Upscale & Recycle)

Upscale & Recycle provides participants with opportunities to repair and re-purpose donated unwanted furniture and construct useful objects from pallets and timber from other sources.

Retail (Dressing for Jobs Op Shop)

Dressing for Jobs provides participants with opportunities in a retail environment including, but not limited to; Retail Customer Service, Retail Selling, Retail Communication, WHS (Retail Work Experience), Warehousing, Social Media, Personal Conduct & Appearance, Clothing Repair, Jewellery Making and Shopping Bag manufacture.

This program has limited funding to cover overheads such as site rental, staff salaries, services, equipment and materials.
All profits from the sale of items produced are reinvested into sustainable community projects.

PNC Aspire is seeking partnerships with businesses in the region that can assist the project to grow and become an ongoing sustainable program.

If you are able to lend your support to the Aspire program please contact Karen Fleischer on 03 5156 0214 or email

What does the local Aspire program mean to Bairnsdale?


It means I have a meaningful place to go to.

The Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre (PNC) is pleased to let the public know that their community program called “Aspire” is starting to take shape and they are seeking help from the individuals and businesses to maintain and grow the community programs.  As wells as setting up an Op Shop and a Work Shed, PNC has supported some people to go on to further training or to get a job via their Training Information and Pathways and Career Advice Program (TIPS-ACA). The activities are based in the precinct at the corner of Macleod and Ligar Streets which is now open and operating for public access Monday to Thursday 10am to 3pm.

The Aspire programs include the “Dressing for Jobs Op Shop” objective is to sell adult clothing and accessories and the “The Work Shed” which objective is to Upscale & Recycle which objective is to upscale quality furniture for the purpose of refurbishment and recycle of materials (Shipping Pallets, Recycled Timber) and to repurpose into furniture.  Included in the Op Shop are handmade carry bags which have been made onsite.

The Op Shop and the Work Shed have been establish as a place that participants of Job Active or individual training programs can build skills and confidence and there path to gain employment.  Karen Fleischer Manager Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre (PNC) said that the “Aspire program has been a number of years in the makings.

PNC undertook to seek the Wood Working program in community settings such as The Hub.  When this was not possible, to get the program established and help address the shortfall they undertook a commercial rental in Bairnsdale and introduced a Job Active program.

The past 10 months have been a learning curve for all concerned, however the end goal of having a meaningful place for people to come and learn new skills whilst contributing to the community always been the goal.

We have been extremely lucky that all staff have contributed to the success of the program.  Having said that we require assistance from the general public to help us spread the word that Aspire is a community program and in order for it to be an ongoing concern for community participants, we need support with purchases of goods, donations of goods as wells as, mentors for the Op Shop and The Work Shed.

The Op Shop program is seeking help from anyone who is interested in being an Ambassador particularly from people with retail or window dressing skills.  You can volunteer for as little of a couple of hours a week.

Professional Organiser and Ambassador for this new Dressing for Jobs Op shop initiative Tania Goranitis of Interior Philosophy is asking locals to check their wardrobes. “I know that many people have at least a couple of seldom worn pieces hiding away that would be perfect for this scheme.” Mrs Goranitis said. “We’re looking for items which are quality and in good condition, but not quite right for their current owner, whether that be because of fit, style or they just don’t love them anymore. Donating to The Dressing for Jobs Op Shop frees up space in the wardrobe, keeps clothes out of landfill and re-directs the financial investment made in those clothes to give job seekers the boost they need. It’s a great win all round. By provide good quality casual and work gear you will be helping a community initiative”.  We are in desperate need of winter clothing, in particular Jumpers, Windcheaters and Jackets for casual or work wear.

Participants in the Op Shop program are learning new skills.  Every Monday, the mannequins are fitted out with new outfits and these are posted in PNC Facebook at paynesvilleneighbourhood.centre and we have a number of people that look forward to seeing what they are wearing.

The Work Shed program is also after people who can contribute to the project in trades such as Cabinet Making, Wood Turnings, Welding, and Building to volunteer their valuable time to provide participants with highly valued training. We have only commenced mentoring and the results so far have been wonderful to witness.   The project participants enjoying learning from craftsman and the volunteers have enjoyed working with the participants and imparting their knowledge.  Volunteers wanting to assist in the program are asked to please contact Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre with expression of interest and further details.

The products sold at the Aspire Precinct include smart casual clothing, shoes and accessories as well as a range of wooden products including blanket boxes, planter boxes (can be made to order examples at SchoolWorks, the Foundry and the Bairnsdale Racing Club), bench seats, dog kennel and bags of kindling.

Karen said that she would like to once again acknowledge that the programs are still being established.  If you had seen the Op Shop three months ago to where it is now, you would be pleased to see the progress.  Karen would like to once again stress that we need community support.  You can help by calling in to purchasing some of our products or by donating clothing, wooden products.  Most of all you can help by letting everyone know that we are open for business in the precinct at the corner of Macleod and Ligar Street, Bairnsdale Monday to Thursday 10am to 3pm.