Kalang Respite Care Centre manager Del Howden (front right) with staff and elders, giving the thumbs-up to a $1.8 million grant.
Kalang Respite Care Centre manager Del Howden (front right) with staff and elders, giving the thumbs-up to a $1.8 million grant. Alistair Brightman

Respite comes for care centre

A HERVEY Bay organisation that provides respite care has won a $1.8 million grant to build new headquarters.

Kalang Respite Care Centre has been in operation for 13 years and was based at a rented home.

Manager Del Howden said they were elated to receive the funding, which they had been seeking for three years.

“It's overwhelming and very exciting,” she said.

Ms Howden said they had been operating out of a small home in Point Vernon and everyone was thrilled at the prospect of having their own purpose-built respite facility.

“We've been orphans for all this time and now we're about to find our home,” she said.

Ms Howden said Kalang essentially served Aboriginal elders but did not discriminate.

“We bring the indigenous people and the wider community together,” she said.

Ms Howden said Kalang offered services such as domestic assistance, transport, social support and centre-based respite.

She said the centre was open three days a week for elders to play bingo or cards and participate in arts and crafts and on the other days staff provided home services such as taking people to medical appointments.

Ms Howden said they had about 60 elders on their books but the number was rising quickly and they planned to expand the service to Maryborough and other areas.

Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said Kalang also received $139,838 for a new bus and $195,791 for the support services.

Ms Howden said they currently had a 22-seater bus and planned to buy a 28-seater bus.

She said they were looking for blocks of land about five acres in size and would ideally love a place on the beach with a view.

Ms Howden said they had already had preliminary plans drawn up for the new centre and hoped to complete the project in the next year to 18 months.

She said the project would benefit not only the indigenous community but also businesses and tradespeople and thanked all who had supported Kalang.



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