Speech: Jindelara Cottage

Speech: Jindelara Cottage Main Image

Mrs PHILLIPS (Gilmore) (19:45): I'm so lucky to live and work in the most beautiful region with the most beautiful communities and people. It's not something that is lost on me; I truly appreciate it every day. I was firmly reminded of that beauty again on 8 March when I joined with members of the Lions Ulladulla District Community Foundation, Ulladulla Milton Lions Club volunteers, service clubs and many members in our community for the official sod turning for stage 2 of Jindelara Cottage.

Before the 2022 federal election, I gained a commitment that an elected Albanese Labor government would provide $638,000 in federal funding for this important project, which would provide supported assisted living units for local people with severe disability. The first stage opened in 2018, and stage 2 of this project will include the construction of additional buildings adjoining the original facility, ensuring Jindelara can continue to support families in the local community.

Reaching stage 2 was no mean feat, and I want to pay particular tribute to Graham Sweet and Brian Thompson from the Lions Ulladulla District Community Foundation for their dedication and perseverance through a very difficult process. Builds like this are often fraught with problems, and there are so many hurdles to overcome. Stage 2 involved working with Shoalhaven City Council to purchase the cul-de-sac land alongside the existing Jindelara cottage for the mere sum of $1. One can only imagine the headaches that process involved, but never did it stop the determination of the team. It was quickly determined that $638,000 would not be enough to construct the new buildings, and so the lobbying began to secure more funding. I'm pleased to say that, after much advocacy by myself with the minister for the NDIS, we were able to increase the funding to $800,000, which of course was very welcome news and meant the build could commence. One of the things that strikes me as so special about Jindelara is how this project evolved from a community need, and it was the community who pulled together to support Jindelara all the way.

Jindelara Cottage provides an important respite for carers who face a lifetime struggle to maintain the care for their loved ones that most of us take for granted. Respite care provides some 'normal time' for families who care full time for someone with a disability. The cottage has five private rooms specifically designed for people with a disability, including hydraulic lifts and a terrific communal lounge and kitchen area.

Jindelara has a long history of community involvement. After local families expressed the critical need for short-term respite accommodation, the foundation was established in 2013 with the combined support of the Lions, Apex and Rotary clubs. Community groups immediately set out to raise funds for the much-needed facility, with money raised by things such as the Milton Ulladulla Entertainers' shows and the Mollymook Beach markets. When locals and visitors to the Milton Ulladulla region buy a Lions sausage sandwich, Christmas cake or hot doughnut, they are also supporting Jindelara. The most significant fundraiser is the Ulladulla Milton Lions Preloved Bookshop. A group of amazing volunteers run the bookshop, which collects and sells second-hand books, CDs and DVDs. Would you believe that since the doors opened in 2013 the stall has raised more than $1 million, with every cent going back into the Lions Ulladulla District Community Foundation and supporting Jindelara.

On 8 March I was so thrilled to join with dedicated foundation members; the Ulladulla Milton Lions bookshop volunteers; the Rotary Club of Milton-Ulladulla; Milton Ulladulla Apex; local people with a disability and their carers as well as the Yumaro disability group; the member for South Coast, Liza Butler; Shoalhaven Mayor, Amanda Findley; councillors; architects; builders; and community members for an all-round joyful celebration. Of course, the highlight of the event was the official sod-turning, signalling the commencement of Jindelara phase 2. The second stage will see two new buildings constructed to provide additional short-term respite accommodation as well as permanent accommodation for up to seven residents and their support staff, including notable local resident Scotty Norris who currently uses the facility one day a week.

The story of Jindelara is one that so many people in our local community can be proud of. It is the ultimate story of love, sacrifice, determination and volunteerism at its best. Congratulations to the Lions Ulladulla District Community Foundation, and congratulations to Jindelara. I can't wait to see Jindelara stage 2 officially open.