A home for people with disabilities was officially opened in Mount Gambier, South Australia, in April 2006. It is the permanent home base for five young adults with disabilities. These residents have ongoing support from support workers, and participate during the week in a range of vocational and recreational activities in the community. It is the first South Australian Ryder-Cheshire home, and has been purpose designed and built for its new occupants. The opening of the house is the fruition of many years work by the Ryder-Cheshire Mt Gambier Home Board, the Mount Gambier Ryder-Cheshire Support Group, and the local community.
Planning for the home in Mount Gambier started in approximately 2003 and the home was opened in April 2006. Funding came from a number of sources, principally Ryder-Cheshire Australia, together with funding from Ryder-Cheshire Foundation (SA), the Federal Government Regional Partnerships program and a bank loan which was fully paid off in June 2010. Land for the home was donated by the City Council of Mount Gambier. The home provides accommodation for five women with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities. The home is currently operated and managed on a ten year lease by Disability Services. The residents receive ongoing support from support workers, and participate during the week in a range of vocational and recreational activities in the community.
The Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Board is responsible for the building, infrastructure, and has a responsibility to ensure that the residents are cared for in a manner which reflects the philosophies of our Founders. A Parent’s Committee liaises between the residents and Disability Services. They are also represented on the Home Board.
The home is a little unconventional in that it provides studio style living accommodation, basically a cluster of en suites, to women greater than age 18 who have diverse disabilities. The objective is to provide a level of independence within a 24 hours per day care structure. One important emphasis is that support is provided across disabilities.
The operation of the home has largely met the hopes and expectations of the Board and the home has been used as a model in various discussions with other carer organisations. The home was visited in April 2012 by the Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion The Hon. Ian Hunter.
The home won a SA Great Community Award in 2007 and received a KESAB commendation in 2008. The home has been visited by Ryder-Cheshire patron The Governor General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC and in 2010 by the state patron, the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR. Both were impressed by the home and the way it operates.
The home is on the corner of Mulga Street and Willow Avenue, Mount Gambier.