February 12, 2020
As the fire storm swept across Kangaroo Island and in the aftermath of the flames, our Community Centre in Kingscote has been a haven of safety, help and support.
Staffed by Coordinator Maree Baldwin and new Support Worker Bec Davis, the Centre quickly became a coordination point complementing the Recovery Centre.
“We have been a point for food donations and supply as well as coordinating emergency accommodation for those who were evacuating or had lost their homes, which was around 110 people,” Maree explains.
“We also have been a connection point for volunteers. A lot of people putting their hands up to help and we’ve been a liaison for that – linking them with the needs of the community.”
In conjunction with the Department of Human Services, Junction has also been instrumental in organising a child care service to support parents affected by the fires. We also have senior counsellors on standby to travel to the Island.
CEO Maria Palumbo said Junction’s support would be even more instrumental over coming months as the community begins the long recovery process.
“We’ll be here for the long haul,” Ms Palumbo said.
A Junction campaign to drive donations of fuel and gift cards for those affected by the fires delivered an overwhelming outcome when it was needed most.
More than $16,000 was raised through the generosity of our staff, donors and supporters providing practical and tangible assistance
“The fuel cards were really appreciated, especially in the earliest days,” Junction CEO Maria Palumbo said.“As a result of the distances people have to travel across the Island, many families are under pressure for fuel. In some cases their car is the only asset they have left so being able to travel independently, is incredibly important.”
BP (OTR) and Caltex (owned by the Turner family) are the main fuel retailers on the Island. Both kick-started support for our initiative each donating $1000 in cards.
OTR also generously increased all donations by an extra 25% value to further amplify the fuel support initiative.
Meantime, Fentons Conveyancing has donated more than $3000 to Junction to help in the recovery process. The money was raised through a campaign initiated by Fentons to donate $100 from every settlement processed during January to the bushfire cause – the proceeds which were split evenly between the CFS Foundation and Junction.
Junction tenants John and Pat.
For Junction tenant John, it already seems 2020 will be the year that saw him get back into the kitchen.
John, and his wife Patricia, are “thrilled” with the results after their kitchen was upgraded in their Parkholme home as part of our asset inspection program.
Prior to the upgrade, John – who uses a wheelchair – could not move around in the kitchen or reach appliance and utensils.
“Kim and Brett (maintenance staff) saw an opportunity to redesign the kitchen to better meet our tenants’ needs,” Housing Services General Manager David Burton said.
“Our staff used their professional skills to help design the layout with John and Pat’s input supported with some outside specialist advice.
“This included a repositioned stove and preparation area, a side opening oven and the addition of cupboards and a pantry. “
Mr Burton said Junction had $2.5 million in planned maintenance in the pipeline for this current financial year including internal painting to properties, kitchen and bathroom upgrades.
“We have a schedule to ensure we are maintaining our properties but we also try to tailor our work to individual needs where we can. At the end of the day, these are people’s homes and what we can do to improve their quality of life and wellbeing, we will.”
John is now back to cooking and preparing meals in the kitchen, which he enjoys immensely.
Patricia said the new design had given back John’s independence.
“It has taken a lot of pressure off me too,” she said.
John said he wanted to help Pat in the kitchen more, and now he could. “It’s been a good outcome for both of us,” he said.
One of the State’s most highly regarded property and finance leaders has joined the Junction board.
Trevor Cooke, CEO of property development and investment management leader, Commercial & General, has commenced as a non-executive Director.
Junction Chair Mike Canny said Trevor brought a wealth of expertise and knowledge at a crucial time in the organisation’s evolution.
“Trevor’s outstanding credentials, reputation and knowledge, particularly as it relates to investment finance and housing development, will further strengthen our governance and growth to support our clients and communities.
“Importantly, Trevor has an inherent desire to find solutions for people to rise out of cycles of crisis and poverty, restoring dignity and building resilience.”
Mike said the appointment was also pivotal as the organisation develops a new strategic plan in 2020.
“We are focussing on our future directions and identifying new opportunities to support individuals and communities to be safer, stronger and better.
“Place-making is a key priority as we work to open opportunities and ultimately, change outcomes for South Australians now and for generations to come.”
Redarc Managing Director Anthony Kittle presents the donation certificate to Maria Palumbo and Talia, who lives at the Junction House.
In 2019 REDARC committed to raising $40,000 in funds to be shared with four local organisations – including Junction – to honour the manufacturing company’s 40 years in Australia.
Junction received $10,000 for furniture and fittings for Junction House - our key emergency accommodation site for teenagers facing homelessness. Funding also went towards community programs and equipment at our Hackham Community Centre.
REDARC’s internal and external fundraising efforts have ranged from hosting a casual day, auctions, raffles, internal cash collections, coffee machine profits and staff participation in third-party fundraising challenges.
Junction has been given the green light for a new five-storey apartment complex providing 54 affordable and social homes in a prime location.
The $20 million development, which will be built at 411-415 Anzac Highway in Camden Park, was approved by the City of West Torrens in December.
It will feature 15 townhouses and two blocks of units. Junction will retain 15 of the units for social housing with the remainder of the homes to be sold as affordable housing.
Junction CEO Maria Palumbo said part of Junction’s mission was to make it easier for people to find affordable homes to both rent and buy.
“People’s ability to buy housing is reducing – the gap is getting wider and wider between what people are earning and house prices,” she said. “It is important we have options for people – a place to call home not for a few days or months but for as long as they want, whether that’s through renting or buying.”
An artist's impression of our planned development at Camden Park.