Helping Bowen community plan for the future

Girudala is the only Indigenous-controlled organisation providing much-needed community services in Bowen and surrounding areas in northern QLD. ICV volunteer Ross has been helping review the effectiveness of its programs, and pave the way to a successful, sustainable future.

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The Girudala Community Co-Operative Society Limited (Girudala) has almost forty years’ experience in delivering much-needed community services to Indigenous people in Bowen and surrounding areas in northern QLD.  It grew from humble beginnings as a housing cooperative, managing a portfolio of houses and offering stable and affordable accommodation to local Indigenous people.

Today, Girudala offers a wide range of services including family support, activities and services for frail aged and young disabled people, and programs to strengthen the link between parents, their school-age children and their school, including an after-school care and homework program. It also provides preventative health care programs, a general medical clinic which specialises in Indigenous health, and a café which provides employment opportunities for Indigenous people.

Importantly, Girudala is the only Indigenous-controlled and Indigenous-focused organisation providing community services in the local area.

To ensure it is able to meet the future needs of the local community, Girudala approached  ICV for help to review the effectiveness of its now large portfolio of programs, and pave the way to a successful, sustainable future.

ICV volunteer Ross was well placed to help. Ross has been volunteering with ICV since 2008, generously sharing his business management, advisory and administration skills with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

After conducting the review, Ross says, “Girudala has applied itself with energy, vision and flexibility to make a difference for good for the Indigenous people of Bowen and the surrounding region. Girudala has also taken the initiative in actively seeking ways to put its activities as far as possible on a self-sustaining basis and reduce its dependence on both the uncertainty and policy restrictions of government financial support.”  

Ross adds, “The management and staff of Girudala have every reason to be proud of what they have achieved for the Indigenous community in and around Bowen. Girudala has performed very creditably and effectively in managing and delivering its various programs over the past five years and this performance provides a strong base for its future operations.”

The community and the Board of Girudala are looking forward to using Ross’s report in planning the future direction of its services and applying for funds for the organisation.