Sheila McHale

Sheila McHale

Minister for Disability Services; Tourism; Culture and the Arts; Consumer Protection

    Boost for children at risk as Canowindra Hostel opens in Bunbury

    19/01/2006 12:00 AM

    Children at risk throughout Western Australia’s South-West will now have access to a new purpose-built facility providing short to medium-term accommodation.

    Community Development Minister Sheila McHale today opened the new $1.3million Canowindra Hostel in Gelorup, near Bunbury.

    “This purpose-built facility will provide an excellent service for young people in and around Bunbury and help them get back on their feet,” Ms McHale said.

    “The localised care provided at Canowindra will help avoid disruption to schooling and friendships and help children either to return to their families or eventually become more self-reliant and independent.”

    The Minister said the hostel, which would house up to 10 young people, was complete with private bedrooms, kitchen and dining areas, a games room and study areas with computers.

    “Canowindra’s pleasant physical surroundings will also be a major self-esteem boost for the children and young people it houses,” she said.

    “The State Government is committed to assisting young people to develop their strengths to meet challenges and find their own solutions.”

    The Minister said most children accommodated at Canowindra were aged between eight and 14. There were 39 admissions during 2005.

    “The facility replaces the original Canowindra Hostel which operated as a group home and hostel for children in need of care since at least 1974,” Ms McHale said.

    “It was converted into a hostel for short to medium-term accommodation for children at risk 10 years ago.”

    The Minister said Bunbury-based building company Perkins Builders built the facility after it was decided it was more cost-effective and positive for young people than refurbishing the existing building, which would be demolished.

    Ms McHale said the planning of the facility involved input from staff and the children.

    Minister's office: 9213 6900