New opportunities for Sunshine Coast residents with a disability

Andrew Wallace MP with David Dangerfield with staff and trainees at the Compass Institute Caloundra.

People living with a disability on the Sunshine Coast have access to new and improved courses in critical life skills like cooking at the Compass Institute’s Caloundra Centre, thanks to a grant under the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme. The $16,000 project, one of 19 funded across the Federal electorate of Fisher, has seen the Centre’s aging kitchen undergo a complete renovation, allowing more students to learn how to live independently.

Andrew Wallace MP with David Dangerfield with staff and trainees at the Compass Institute Caloundra.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that these 19 grants, totalling $150,000 across Fisher are helping rebuild our local economy after the COVID crisis and supporting community groups and small local construction businesses who are doing it tougher than ever.

“There has never been a more important time to support our local community groups. A lot of people on the Sunshine Coast are struggling right now, and our local volunteer groups provide a vital lifeline for many. These grants will give many groups the capacity to do more, and to help get our community through this tough time.” Mr Wallace said.

The Compass Institute’s Caloundra Centre offers training and activities for people living with an intellectual or physical disability. The kitchen, part of the Centre’s legacy as a former soccer club, was small and inadequate for the centre’s 40 trainees. The Federal Government’s match-funded $8,000 grant has contributed to new roller doors, windows, benchtops and professional appliances, as well as allowing a redesign of the layout that is more safe and hygienic.

David Dangerfield, Managing Director of Compass Institute said:  “Compass Caloundra operates out of the former Caloundra Soccer Club at Arthur Street.  A fantastic location and a great space for Compass Trainees to continue their on-going learning, but unfortunately a kitchen that was in desperate need of a makeover.”

“Thanks to Andrew Wallace and the Stronger Communities Grant, Compass Caloundra now has a spectacular new kitchen with updated appliances, re-designed kitchen cabinetry, windows where walls used to be and a sparkling clean floor.” 

“We cannot thank Andrew and his team enough for their on-going support and the funds to make this happen. It has breathed new life into our Everyday Life Skills program and allows us to continue the work we do with our Trainees in a safe and modern environment”. Mr Dangerfield said.

Other groups in Fisher receiving grants in this Round of the Programme included RoboCoast Sunshine Coast Robotics Association who received $13,775 to purchase robots, laptops and training mats for training sessions in schools; Montville Village Association who received $13,500 for construction of a covered deck and upgrade of disability access at the heritage listed Montville Village Hall; and Sunshine Coast Film Festival, who received $10,000 to purchase film equipment and to fund the development and production of local stories.

“In Federal Government we often talk in telephone numbers but these grants show that you don’t need a huge amount of money to make a big difference. For communities all over the Sunshine Coast, the new equipment and facilities being delivered from these nineteen grants are helping to bring people together and give them access to activities they never had before, while for local tradies and businesses, these grants mean a little more work when they need it the most.” Mr Wallace said.

In addition to the Compass Institute project, the complete list of grants in Fisher under Round 5 of the Stronger Communities Programme includes:

OrganisationProjectFunding Received
5th Light Horse Regiment Maleny TroopInstallation of improvedsecurity for the Beersheba Living Museum$2,600
Dicky Beach SLSCPurchase of an inflatablerescue boat$9,000
Volunteering Sunshine CoastPurchase office equipment, software and technology to assist with maintaining their 130 plus memberorganisations$11,500
Sunshine Coast Film FestivalTo purchase film equipment and to fund the developmentand production of local stories$10,000
Montville Village AssociationConstruction of a covered deck and upgrade of disability access at the heritage listedMontville Village Hall$13,500
Alexandra Headland SLSCPurchase of a surf lifesavingequipment trailer$4,000
Australian Cycling AcademyLimitedPurchase 10 mediumperformance road cycles$10,000
STEPS CharityElectrical fit out of new Murphy House residential units for Pathways Collegestudents$7,180
Lions Club of BeerwahPurchase materials and cover installation costs for ceilinginsulation of the Lions shed$5,300
Talara Primary College P&CAssociationPurchase a sound system$3,000
Night Eyes Water & LandcareFunds to repair equipment trailer and purchase safetyequipment for volunteers$2,500
Caloundra Arts CentreAssociationPurchase and installation ofshade sails$6,950
The Compass InstituteKitchen upgrade from domestic to commercialkitchen$8,000
Mooloolaba Volunteer Coast Guard AssociationReplacement of three suspension seats on rescueboat$4,695
Suncoast Community Legal ServiceDigital transformation project to assist with tracking and processing productivity$9,000
RoboCoast Sunshine Coast Robotics AssociationPurchase robots, laptops and training mats for use at training sessions at localschools$13,775
Gateway CareInstallation of additionalfreezer$12,000
Mooloolaba Bowls ClubReplacement of fire damagedfurniture$8,000
Metropolitan Caloundra SLSCFacility upgrade of nippersuniform shop$9,000

The Stronger Communities Programme funds small capital projects in each of the 151 federal electorates, which can range from upgrading the local community hall or sporting facility, building new bike paths, or providing essential equipment for the local State Emergency Service. For more information on the Stronger Communities Programme visit