Opening applauded

WORKABILITY celebrated the opening of its new head office, WorkAbility House, on Friday with around 100 members of the wider community.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance and WorkAbility patron Junee Waites officially opened the new building, which is built on the site of the old Bega Barracks in Newtown Rd.

WorkAbility House integrates modern facilities with the heritage aspects of the original building.

It is now home to 40 staff members and serves over 300 people with disabilities.

Mr Constance, who is the minister for ageing and disability, said he applauded WorkAbility on its evolution from an operation run out of a single office in 1990 to being a leading force in disability service provision.

“Given the premises we’ve seen in days gone by, this is just a fantastic facility that I’m sure will serve the community well for many, many decades,” Mr Constance said.

“There is of course more to be done in terms of disability services and I’m sure the services and supports through this building will be a significant part of this change.

“WorkAbility is all about person-centred services, about offering the basic human right of choice; that is where we need to get to across the entire system.”

WorkAbility executive manager Virginia Fitzclarence was part of the team that started out in that small office on the Bega TAFE grounds with $50,000 funding, and she said it was wonderful to have come “full circle”.

“We can look out the window and see where we were 20 years ago,” Ms Fitzclarence said.

“Today, it’s a testament to the staff and our wonderful employees that we are where we are and we’ve been joined by such a wide cross-section of the community to celebrate this building.

“We’re thrilled with the design (by architect Ken Gordon) and we are already enjoying the benefits.”

For more information, call WorkAbility Bega on 6492 3222.

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