16 September 2022

'It's incredibly disheartening': aged care club targeted by vandals

| Aiden Rothnie
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Three people sitting on a bench

Club Kalina has had parts of its outdoor sitting area destroyed twice in recent weeks, but thanks to some generous donations from club member Ashley (right), the garden has been replaced. Photo: Supplied.

For the second time in a month, an old age and social care club in Tuggeranong has had the small sitting area out the front of its premises destroyed by vandals.

Club Kalina on Soward Way in Tuggeranong is an aged care and social club run by Community Home Australia. The club aims to create a friendly and sociable atmosphere for people of all ages to interact and have fun.

To do this, Club Kalina offers various trips, services and activities for its many members aged 20 to 92. Many older members have diagnoses such as Early Onset Dementia and find it difficult to do things and get out regularly.

One such service was a small sitting area out the front of the club for people to enjoy the company of others. It included several pots and tiles that had been worked on and created by members of the club.

This most recent attack is the second time in a month that the space has been targeted.

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Vandals first came for the sitting area on 21 August, leaving much of what could be found there broken.

Just over a week later, on 31 August, there was another attack and items were again broken or stolen.

Ashley Carrington, program manager at Club Kalina, said it was disheartening to see the members’ hard work destroyed.

“We have people who come here with all kinds of diagnoses and were so proud of their work,” she said.

“To come back and see it all smashed and destroyed is kind of like letting all the air out of a balloon.”

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Ashley said there seemed to be very little respect for the work of the club’s members.

“For some of our members, doing something like making a pot or tile is amazing, and it was really special for us to see and display their work. I have seen people walk all over the tiles and just generally disrespect them.

“It’s disheartening to see all their hard work treated like it’s nothing,” she said.

“We’ve moved the space now and we hope to be able to build on it. We want to be able to use it as a part of our programs and activities without worrying about it.”

Because this isn’t an isolated incident, Club Kalina has decided to move the sitting area to a more secure location with CCTV cameras overlooking it.

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