New social rooms ready for use

Dignitaries and special guests gathered last Friday evening, May 10, to officially open the new Social Rooms at the Officer Recreation Reserve.

This much-needed project was conceived and completed over twelve years ago in partnership between Cardinia Shire Council and the Officer Recreation Reserve Community Asset Committee.

These new rooms feature a large open space that can accommodate approximately 200 people for functions and events, a lounge area with gas fireplace, 270 degree views of the two ovals, a beautifully designed and built bar, smart integration with the existing canteen /kitchen area for any type of event, day and night, DDA compatible toilets, a storage room and a cupboard for cleaning products.

Funding for these new rooms came from a variety of sources including the Federal Government, the State Government, Cardinia Shire Council, the sporting clubs, current members and families, as well as many former players and officials of the clubs.

The official part of the evening – the unveiling of the plaque was led by Mayor Jack Kowarzik of Cardinia Shire Council, Federal MP for Latrobe Jason Wood MP, Carol Porter (representing husband Rob Porter, former Chairman of the Officer Rec Reserve Committee) and Gareth Sheean Chairman of the Officers Sports Club.

Away from official duties, guests were treated to over an hour and a half of anecdotes from AFL football royalty in the form of Kevin Sheedy and Robert DiPierdomenico, who entertained the crowd with various stories about their long and highly successful involvement in VFL/AFL football.

Present at the event were Cardinia Shire councilors and council officers, Jason Wood Federal Member for Latrobe, Dr. Renee Heath MP and Tom McIntosh MP members for the Vic Eastern Region, the directors and project managers of Builtwise, the architect Hargreaves Design, members of the Foundation who have subsequently donated almost $150,000 to the project, the members of the Executive Committee of the Sporting Club and their sponsors and guests.

President Gareth Sheean highlighted Builtwise who did a great job and completed construction a week early.

The architect Hargreaves Design (Pakenham) was a great project partner to have and there were a number of former football club players who donated their skills, expertise, materials and time to the project, including Geoff Porter, Ross Clark, Grant Tivendale, Nathan Jones and Jason Highton.

Special mention to Pat Pipicelli who worked tirelessly with Rob Porter to ensure the environment of the new building was as good as the structure itself, and to Cr. Brett Owen who had campaigned tirelessly with the Rec Reserve Committee at the council to inject more money into this (and other) projects into the Officer Recreation Reserve for many years.

It will be the Officer Sports Club Committee that will now manage and operate the building, which can now be enjoyed by the reserve’s sports clubs as well as local businesses and the community. For booking inquiries email [email protected] or visit