A unique organisation due to the wide range of services it offers, the Burdekin Community Association has been turning lives around since 1975.
At over 5000 square kilometres, the Burdekin Shire is a big area with many outlying townships. Rather than deter the Burdekin community, this has only fortified them in their determination to be there for one another.
“We were completely volunteer-run for the first seven years,” says the Burdekin Community Association’s CEO Debra Cochran.
“The BCA of 1975 had to survive on local donations and bequests. The committee and volunteers of 1975-84 literally did everything, unlike today’s Association, which has grown to become a fully independent, self-sufficient community service organisation with 30 programs delivered by 60 staff and subcontractors and 80 volunteers.”
Striving to fulfil the unmet social, welfare and health needs of the Burdekin community, the not-for-profit organisation and registered charity offers a wide range of services. These include the recently introduced Flexible Financial Hardship Program, the Dignity Program (where the Association, assisted by a donation from the local Zonta Club, provides care packs to the Ayr Police Station for people escaping domestic and family violence) and the SecondBite Program.
“With SecondBite, we’ve partnered with Coles to help provide nutritious food to those in need for free,” Debra says. “Together, we’re committed to collecting food that’s still edible but surplus to the store’s needs that would otherwise go to landfill.”
Ne postios dolo ipsandis ut ero cone sinvendus dessunt aligent, omnihic iandissecea velignam re qui volor sundi odit, nimet la venias re
Two of the Association’s largest services are the Home Care Service and Burdekin Centre for Rural Health.
“One of the main concerns of older people and younger people with a disability in our community is to stay in their own home as long as they physically can,” Debra says. “To help them achieve this, our services include housework and shopping assistance, yard maintenance, personal care, respite care and transport.”
Meanwhile, the Burdekin Centre for Rural Health provides psychology services, exercise and tai chi classes, exercise physiology, allied health services, health promotion and prevention, mental health support, suicide prevention and telehealth.
“The Association’s vision is for compassionate and connected communities where everyone is free from hardship and distress,” Debra says. “Most of our programs are government-funded, however a number of our initiatives are made possible by the generosity of local service clubs, businesses, individuals and the Burdekin Shire Council. We’d like to thank them all, including our wonderful staff, subcontractors and volunteers.”