An innovative new service supporting Aboriginal families travelling from remote communities to stay in Derby recently opened.
The new Derby Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation service (DASSA) is a purpose-built facility funded under the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, which will enable Aboriginal people from remote communities to access short-stay accommodation for up to four weeks at a time.
Minister for Housing Bill Marmion officially opened DASSA on Saturday, October 4.
The 54-bed facility will support individuals and families who need short term accommodation in Derby, and will be jointly managed by MercyCare and Centacare Kimberley in partnership with the Department of Housing, the Department of Corrective Services, and the Department of Child Protection and Family Support.
As the lead agency in the partnership, MercyCare will manage the facility together with Centacare Kimberley, which is operating the services provided at the centre.
MercyCare Chief Executive Officer Chris Hall said the organisation looked forward to a successful partnership with Centacare Kimberley.
“MercyCare is delighted to be working together in partnership with Centacare Kimberley to provide this much-needed service for the Aboriginal community,” he said.
“Derby is an important regional centre for remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley, and as a result many community members need to travel here to access business, medical and other support services,” he said.
“DASSA will meet the needs of the Aboriginal community in a practical and meaningful way, by providing a safe and comfortable place to stay while in Derby.
DASSA will operate similar to a hostel, with visitors charged a small daily fee that includes meals.
The facility also offers a commercial kitchen, communal areas, recreation facilities, a children’s playground and barbecue areas, and Aboriginal support workers will also be on hand to support residents when required.