Lois O'Donoghue Hostel community service hub

COMMUNITY: KWY domestic violence program coordinator Jak Wilson with Bungala's project manager Gordon Dadleh and CEO Rob Laundy.
COMMUNITY: KWY domestic violence program coordinator Jak Wilson with Bungala's project manager Gordon Dadleh and CEO Rob Laundy.

A COMMUNITY service hub has been opened on Stirling Road, replacing the Lois O’Donoghue Hostel which closed down in March 2015.

The property was purchased by Bungala Aboriginal Corporation in June 2015, while the hub is run by the KWY Aboriginal Corporation, providing two essential social programs.

These programs aim to help Aboriginal fathers build safe family environments and provide a perpetrator behavioural change program for men who turn to domestic violence.

KWY workers have been operating at Lois O’Donoghue five days a week, mainly working with referrals from the domestic violence courts.

The hostel closed due to low occupancy rates, but the service hub will continue operating under the Lois O’Donoghue name.

KWY Chief Executive Officer Craig Rigney said he felt very fortunate to have secured the lease of a site with such high significance.

“We’re starting with those two programs for now, but we have extensive plans to expand our service delivery, including our Aboriginal women’s family violence support program, which is to work hand in hand with our men’s program to provide a holistic response to family violence,” Mr Rigney said.

TAFE SA is reportedly planning to offer courses at the service hub in 2017, which Mr Rigney believes is a fantastic opportunity to reach more people with KWY’s services.

“Most of our programs are held in metropolitan Adelaide, but it’s vital that members of the community living in South Australia’s regional areas have the same access to those services as their peers in the cities,” Mr Rigney said.

TAFE plans to offer a Certificate II in Hospitality, Certificate II in Construction Cleaning Operations, Certificate II in Horticulture - Landscaping, as well as Barista courses and training on family wellbeing at the hub.

Bungala has been working in the area of Indigenous disadvantage in Port Augusta for over 20 years, particularly in employment and training.

According to Bungala Chief Executive Officer Rob Laundy, the corporation had several other opportunities to lease the Lois O’Donoghue, but waited to find the perfect fit to bring the former hostel back to the community.

Mr Laundy said Bungala and KWY were like-minded organisations.

“KWY staff have been coming to Port Augusta on a fortnightly basis for two and a half years, holding their programs at Bungala facilities, so there is already a history and a partnership there,” he said.

“Using the Lois O’Donoghue allows KWY to permanently offer those services – and more – to the local community, which is something that’s very important to us.”

KWY has potential plans to expand in Whyalla and surrounding areas in the future.