For more than 30 years, Roseberry Qld has provided a range of services to meet the needs of young people and families experiencing tough times in Central Queensland communities and beyond.
Officially opening the doors of their new headquarters at 21 Dawson Road this week, the former Education Queensland building has gained a new lease on life with a $1.1. million purchase and make over, funded by the three LNG companies, via the Gladstone Foundation.
Tripling the space available to Roseberry’s Youth and Family Services and Housing programs, General Manager Col Tribe says she’s thrilled with the way the building has turned out:
“It is safe, comforting, welcoming and private,” she said. “We’re growing, and sadly we have a growing number of people in our region who are struggling and may be at risk of homelessness and who are dealing with mental health issues,” she said.
With waiting lists for services, on an average day around twenty people experiencing troubled times will attend Roseberry Qld’s new Gladstone office for help. They’ll also welcome about twenty young people doing life-skills training or job readiness courses, and another ten using the alternative learning space.
Dedicated intake rooms and private spaces for counselling on the ground floor, including a family-friendly space where families in crisis can talk together with Roseberry’s professional clinical staff are decorated beautifully, with stylish and bright furnishings and artwork, thoughtfully chosen by Col and the team.
Also on the ground floor is a spacious and well-equipped kitchen where young people taking part in life-skills programs can learn to prepare nutritious food on a budget.
It’s the kitchen that beer built, with Gladstone Rotaract donating the proceeds of Oktoberfest 2016 and 2017 to fund the kitchen. The fit-out includes a very impressive coffee machine, which clients completing youth development programs will use for barista training.
“We have been so lucky with community support,” Col said. “We were the beneficiary of the Botanic to Bridge, Gladstone NRG Power Station employees made some significant donations. Gladstone Mudcrabs held a charity day and donated the proceeds to us, as well as many community members donating.”
“It’s a pleasure to come to work in such a beautiful space,” Business Manager Wendy Marsten said.
”For the team I lead, it’s that much more workable because of the larger meeting spaces and work-stations, and we have a lot more storage than we had in the old building.”
“The reception is so welcoming now and the team are loving working here,” she said
For Youth and Family Services Manager, Gena Hitzke, the best by-product of the move to the new building has a big lift in self-esteem: “The general pride our young people have in the space reflects back on to them,” she said.
“Some of them said they’d never experienced such a new and lovely space before,” she said.
“We had young people coming in saying: “Oh my gosh, this is too good for us,” Gena said. “We disagree: part of what we do and part of who we are is getting young people who are disengaged to see that they do deserve good things. They are worth it.”