Kal'ang project close to starting
A FIVE-YEAR journey is almost complete for the Kal'ang Respite Centre.
The organisation dedicated to providing care and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island's elders has been operating out of a residential house as it awaits its own building in Hervey Bay, due for completion within months.
"We have been waiting five years for this," said Delphine Howden, co-ordinator for the respite centre.
"We are all absolutely elated."
Ms Howden said the funds for the $1.9 million project came from a combination of grants from the Federal and State Governments through the Home and Community Care Program.
"The land was graciously leased by the Fraser Coast Regional Council," Ms Howden said.
"There are all layers from community through to local, state and Commonwealth governments who have all made this possible."
While the Kal'ang Respite Centre primarily caters to Indigenous elders, Ms Howden said its doors were open to non-indigenous members of the community in need of care as well.
She said the centre delivered services like transport, allied health, personal care and home maintenance, along with many other aspects.
"It is about helping elderly people live as independently as possible," she said.
"It will be a place for them to come and enjoy recreation and respite."
The new building on Denman's Camp Rd will be a specially designed structure, incorporating elements of local indigenous culture to provide an identifiable hub for the region's elderly.
Ms Howden said elements in the garden landscaping and interior of the building would reflect natural aspects of Fraser Island such as rainforest, sand andwater.
The dolphin, a totem of the Butchulla, also featured in the design.
Ms Howden said the new centre would also feature separate areas for men's business and women business.
The new centre is being built by local company Win Constructions.
The company estimates the building will be complete in five months, with chief executive officer Daniel Poacher saying the slab should be poured within two weeks.
Ms Howden gave "a special thanks to all who have supported a needed cause in our community."