Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    Sanctuary for disadvantaged men in Derby

    11/04/2008 12:00 AM

    Indigenous Affairs Minister Michelle Roberts today officially opened the new Derby Men’s Centre in Ashley Street.


    “The centre is a place for men dealing with alcohol and drug issues from Derby and surrounding communities such as Looma, Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek,” Mrs Roberts said.


    “The visitors have the opportunity to socialise and participate in alcohol and drug education classes in a supportive and encouraging environment.”


    The centre was established in 2001 by Neil Buckle, a director of the Wamba Nilgee Burru Ngardu Aboriginal Corporation, which was established in November last year to run the centre.


    Until recently, the Derby Men’s Centre operated out of the Shire Building on Elders Street, but a more suitable space became available on Ashley Street.


    “Up to 40 men visit the centre every day to use the showering and washing facilities, cook meals for themselves in the communal kitchen, watch television and play pool,” the Minister said.


    Mrs Roberts said the centre also ran art classes and organised fishing trips.


    “These activities are doing more than just giving the men something to occupy their time - they are regaining valuable social and life skills,” she said.


    “The Department of Indigenous Affairs has donated two computers to the centre for patrons’ use.”


    Kimberley MLA Carol Martin said the centre was an asset to the Derby community and the Wamba Nilgee Burru Ngardu Aboriginal Corporation should be commended for its valuable work.


    “The Men’s Centre is a great example of the local community, providing valuable support to men dealing with alcohol and drug abuse,” Mrs Martin said.


    Minister's Office 9213 6600