In 2013 the Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre was successful in its application to the final round of the $5m Shenhua Watermark Community Fund to build and equip a multi-purpose room to provide an additional range of services to the Centre thereby enhancing the existing facilities.
In its application to the Shenhua Watermark Community Fund Winanga-Li had identified within the community a lack of availability of before and after school care for families, with only one service available that had an extensive waiting list. Through the extension of its current building it would enable the Centre to deliver much needed programs for vulnerable and disadvantaged Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal families in Gunnedah.
Wayne Griffiths, Manager Winanga-Li, said, "The new building will provide a multi-purpose centre containing a fully equipped kitchen, computer centre and craft section that will allow boundless amounts of programs for the children to participate in such as cooking, homework and educational programs to name a few."
"The Centre will operate two programs, an OOSH (Out of School Hours) program for children that includes breakfast, delivery and pick-up to all schools in Gunnedah (primary to secondary) and a structured program. The other program available is targeted for disadvantaged children that have no access to these types of facilities to offer them a transition to school program in two hour blocks held during the day."
"Without the support of the Shenhua grant it would have been impossible to fill a major void in the community and this facility will change the lives of our young people and provide them with a bright start to their future education, well being and development."
Shenhua Community Liaison Officer, Debbie Watson, said "Shenhua is very pleased to be able to assist the Centre, and ultimately the community, in such a practical and positive way through our Shenhua Watermark Community Fund. The Community Fund was five million dollars over five years and this facility is part of the last round of the $5m."
"The Community Fund Advisory Committee recommended this project primarily based on being able to close the gap on disadvantaged children so they can have the best possible start in life."
"We commend the Service for their initiative in identifying this gap in the Community and we look forward to a long partnership", she said.
Mr Wayne Griffiths, Manager Winanga-Li inspecting the progress on the Shenhua Watermark
Project that is due for completion in early November.