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Katungul takes over old Bega nursing home with new vision for Aboriginal health

Ian Campbell 17 December 2019
Moving day at Katungal - Dennis Paratene, Sadie Toms, Chin Weerakkody, Jennifer Smart, John Willington. Photo: Ian Campbell

Moving day at Katungul – Dennis Paratene, Sadie Toms, Chin Weerakkody, Jennifer Smart, John Willington. Photo: Ian Campbell

Aboriginal health and well-being services in the region are about to be supercharged with an aged care facility in Bega being re-purposed into an Aboriginal health clinic.

The vacant Casuarina facility on Bega Street, Bega, operated by Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care has been sold to Katungul, the region’s Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation.

“We’re so excited to officially share with the community that we have invested in this space. We have so many ideas for this new premises,” says Joanne Grant, Katungul Acting CEO.

“It has so much potential to serve our local community, filling the many service gaps we may have here on the south coast.”

The vacant Casuarina facility on Bega Street, Bega, operated by Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care has been sold to Katungul. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Residents of Casuarina moved out just before Christmas 2017, into new, more modern accommodation at Hillgrove House in Bega.

Built in 1979, the building is designed around four main houses, each house consisted of a lounge and dining areas with its own domestic sized kitchen and a total of 31 motel type suites where residents were provided with care and support.

For two years the well-loved and care for building has sat empty – screaming potential to a range of community organisations.

Residents of Casuarina moved out just before Christmas 2017, into new, more modern accommodation at Hillgrove House in Bega. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Under the control of Katungul since Friday (December 13) tradesmen are currently swarming the building getting it ready for its new future – providing health and community services to the Aboriginal community.

Ms Grant says the scale of the building will also provide an opportunity for Katungul to address community needs which aren’t yet being met.

“The thing I’m most excited about however is creating a culturally safe place for our community and a place the Aboriginal community can call their own,” she says.

“I envision the facility as a hub for dynamic collaboration between other like-minded services for the betterment of the health and wellbeing of our broader community.”

The past five years has seen Katungul grow from the strength to strength serving the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla through clinics in Batemans Bay, Narooma, and Bega. Plans for the future take in communities as far away as Young, Yass, Queanbeyan, Goulburn, and Cooma.

Under the control of Katungul since Friday (December 13) tradesmen are currently swarming the building getting it ready for its new future. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Katungul Chairman Ronald Nye Senior believes the new space goes beyond offering health and care services.

“We are confident this Bega Street premises will take on a new cultural significance for the local Aboriginal community offering not only a great sense of pride but a culturally safe environment to access holistic health services.”

The new building offers Katungul a 300% increase in clinic capacity plus the ability to offer both community services and clinical services from one singular location.

Currently, Katungul offers a bulk-billing medical clinic with outreach services including; dental clinics via a touring dental van, eye health services including Aboriginal eye health specialists and visiting optometrists and ophthalmologists, maternal and infant health services, National Disability Insurance Scheme support services, mental health support services including an in-house psychologist, alcohol and other drug use support, social and emotional wellbeing services and cultural programs.

Staff are currently moving from their Gipps Street premises to the new Bega Street site; despite the heavy loads being lifted and shifted, all staff are wearing big smiles and are buzzing about the opportunity the Casurina building offers.

Services from Bega Street will start on January 6 with a smoking ceremony on January 15.

What's Your Opinion?

26 Responses to Katungul takes over old Bega nursing home with new vision for Aboriginal health

Sukalpa Goldflam 6:23 am 20 Dec 19

Congratulations on your move, this is great news

Dallis Tanner Dallis Tanner 8:51 pm 19 Dec 19

Go Katungul!!

Denise Burdett Denise Burdett 9:30 pm 18 Dec 19

congratulations...great news

Marcia Smith Marcia Smith 7:55 am 18 Dec 19

Wonderful news congratulations 👣👣👣💯✌🤗

Marcia Smith 7:50 am 18 Dec 19

Wonderful 👣👣✌🤘💯🖤💛❤😍

Georgie Rowley Georgie Rowley 10:50 pm 17 Dec 19

This is great 👍

Colleen Kennelly Colleen Kennelly 8:15 pm 17 Dec 19

Congratulations awesome ones well done hip pip hoo ray

Narelle Spence Narelle Spence 7:09 pm 17 Dec 19

Nice to see the place opening up again, great news 👍

Holly Lawler Holly Lawler 5:48 pm 17 Dec 19

Linda Dawson finally they’re using it. Now to do something with the hospital 🤣

Jennie Gordon Jennie Gordon 5:15 pm 17 Dec 19

Congratulations Katungul- that is fabulous news ❤️💛🖤

Robyn Calhoun Robyn Calhoun 5:09 pm 17 Dec 19

Great space for Katungal. Wonder what happened to all of the residents from Casurina???

    Christine Welsh Christine Welsh 5:13 pm 17 Dec 19

    they went to Hillgrove House.

    Robyn Calhoun Robyn Calhoun 5:15 pm 17 Dec 19

    Christine Welsh oh ok tks. I used to visit elderlies there.

Glenn Cotter Glenn Cotter 4:42 pm 17 Dec 19

Congratulations guys....👍👍

Katungul Katungul 4:30 pm 17 Dec 19

Thanks for stopping by for a visit and sharing our exciting news About Regional!

Joan Nelson Joan Nelson 4:18 pm 17 Dec 19

Great!!! 🙋

Christine Welsh Christine Welsh 3:46 pm 17 Dec 19

I've been trying to contact the Katungul CEO, leaving messages, emails etc about the space at Casuarina. It would be great to be able to use one of the commercial kitchens/dining rooms for cooking groups for the Sapphire Community Pantry I imagine she must be very busy at the moment, but I hope she will eventually get back to me.

    Katungul Katungul 4:28 pm 17 Dec 19

    Hi Christine Welsh, we really appreciate you reaching out. Feel free to shoot your email through to [email protected] and we can pass it onto the appropriate people. As there’s a lot happening this time of year and we’re still in the process of moving, bare with us and stay up to date via our Facebook page. We’re so excited by the potential of this new space!

    Christine Welsh Christine Welsh 4:31 pm 17 Dec 19

    Oh yes, great potential, fantastic that you bought this building - I see great things ahead!

    Katungul Katungul 4:37 pm 17 Dec 19

    Thanks Christine Welsh we’re very excited!

    Carol Allen Carol Allen 5:36 am 18 Dec 19

    Christine Welsh Joanne Grant

Sharon Lee Smith Sharon Lee Smith 3:44 pm 17 Dec 19

Awesome news

Mandy Alexander Mandy Alexander 3:39 pm 17 Dec 19

Oh thank goodness it’s going to be used

Sophie Beaman Sophie Beaman 3:22 pm 17 Dec 19

Fantastic 👏🏻

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