Some may be put off by working in regional locations, but not us. With significant experience working on remote islands, we see it as an opportunity to explore the unknown and find a solution that ticks all the boxes for our clients. The MBA Award Winning Blue Care Star of the Seas Elders Village is a prime example of just that. Located on the remote Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, our logistics and project coordination were put to the test.
As the only residential aged care service in the Torres Strait, Hansen Yuncken undertook a full refurbishment and new building works bringing the much-needed facility into the 21st Century. Completed 2 weeks ahead of program, we didn’t just please our residents, but together with our client, we set a new benchmark in the delivery of residential aged care in the Torres Strait.
When you work on an island, you understand fairly quickly that a last-minute trip to Bunnings is off the cards. In fact, we coordinated 4x Olympic sized swimming pools worth of construction materials from Cairns to Thursday Island, each taking 3 days per trip. That included everything from site accommodation to fencing, scaffolding and all the required materials to complete the job. It’s difficult to comprehend the level of planning involved but the whole process was smooth sailing.
Along with a brand new three storey staff accommodation building, we built a new administration and main auditorium complex which was set between two existing wings. They too received an upgrade as did the existing infrastructure. Whilst all this work was going on, the facility remained fully operational so impact to staff and residents was kept to an absolute minimum.
Being in the tropical north, mother nature was often unpredictable. Despite this, the team remained on top form as cyclonic winds and frequent squalls and storms played havoc with the site. But when the sun shone, so did the community spirit and as welcomed visitors, we took every opportunity to get involved. Over the life of the project we joined the Tagai State College – Waybeni Buway Ngurpay Mudh (Thursday Island Primary School) Transition Celebration Evenings, contributed to the 75th Anniversary celebration of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion (TSLIB) (the only Indigenous battalion in the history of the Australian Army who were posted to defend the Northern frontier from Japanese in WW2) and sponsored the “Pioneer Dames”, a women’s football team made up entirely of members of the local community. We could not get enough of the unity shown throughout this community.
Wrapping up this memorable project we were content knowing that 38 senior Indigenous people will now receive specialist, culturally appropriate care in the new, air-conditioned building.
READ MORE about Star of the Seas.