On July 1st this year YMCA WA merged with YMCA Eastern Goldfields to bring all operations at Kalgoorlie under the YMCA WA umbrella. The decision was made jointly by the two organisations to ensure that the families, children and young people in the region continue to have a robust and committed YMCA in their community. With offerings from the gym, to after school hours care, to educational training and community engagement programs – it’s no surprise people come from far and wide to use the facility.
“We really do everything!” Kalgoorlie Centre Manager Terrence Winner said.
“The area we deliver programs is mostly Kalgoorlie where our main hub is, but we also go as far as up as Wiluna and as far down as Esperance so it’s about 500 odd-kms tip to tip - it’s a very large space.”
The Y has been in Kalgoorlie for over 100 years, with Terrence being on board for 15 of those and being fourth-generation Kalgoorlie himself, he’s has noticed how much the local community and his staff have benefitted from the merge.
“In terms of the level of support, it’s great to have a lot of different people you can call up for advice and share ideas and resources with,” Terrence said.
“The training has been a massive plus – the ability for staff to be able to have access to training is great because it’s very difficult to get training in remote regions,” he added.
General Manager of South West Jurek Stopczynski said the most impressive aspect of the merge is how willing the Kalgoorlie staff members have been to join YMCA WA, and how deeply connected Terrence and his team are with the community.
“Having someone with 15 years of YMCA history on site certainly gives us an advantage in the region, especially when making community connections and identifying key stakeholders, which makes Kalgoorlie Y well positioned to re-invest in the region,” Jurek said.
Much aligned with the Y’s belief statement; ‘we believe in the power of inspired young people’, Terrence says the centre’s focus is around providing a safe space for youth.
“There’s definitely a focus on youth programs, youth and community in particular given the publicised social issues that we’ve recently had engulfed in the community, so that’s definitely our short-term focus.”
And with school camps and programs coming from as far as Perth to use the centre’s rock-climbing facilities, it comes as no surprise they’re focusing on the ‘now’.
“At this point it’s more about a focus on continuing to grow what we already have. We’re very fortunate to have a lot of award-winning, very well-utilised programs, so it’s great to see that continue to grow as well as continuing to be responsive to the community needs,” Terrence said.