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Buy a brick and give the gift of independence

Carinbundi House buy brick
One of the Carinbundi House duplexes taking shape at the Griffith Street site in Bundaberg.

The Carinbundi House project is nearing completion and the Bundaberg Region community is being asked to help it along by buying a brick.

Launched in 2019, the Carinbundi Foundation’s Buy a Brick campaign was established to build long-term housing for people with disabilities, with members of the public contributing to the construction cost by donating $5 to ‘purchase’ a brick for the project.

Clive Pearce, CEO of Carinbundi, said community support for the campaign had been tremendous but the entire construction costs had not yet been met.

He said it was an exciting time for the Carinbundi Foundation team as the project neared completion and hoped the community would rally to help the foundation in its bid to provide quality housing for its customers.

“We’re now four to five weeks away from people moving in,” Clive said. “And when you consider we only started building just before Christmas, it's an exciting time.

“We're just working on the finishing and getting everything ready for those people who are going to come in. We’re getting really excited.”

Clive said the Carinbundi House project, consisting of two specially designed duplexes on Griffith Street in Bundaberg, aimed to promote independent living for people with a disability by meeting the needs identified by customers during extensive consultations.

“Their needs are really do different to yours or mine,” he said. “If you have two or three houses together, you then get that shared living experience, you get that circle of friends.

“And something that's really critical is access to transport. One of the concerns that you have with living in the community, particularly for people with disabilities and the aged, is you can become isolated in the community.

“By having these little clusters, then we can afford to provide access to minibuses and vehicles so that people, if they want to go to the beach a under a sausage sizzle on a Saturday, you say ‘let's all pile into the minibus, let's go to the beach – have a great time’.”

“If you're isolated in the community, you don't have access to that.”

Clive said the design of the duplexes would also provide greater quality of life for residents, with wet rooms instead of bathrooms, wider doorways, kitchens designed to enable greater accessibility and manoeuvrability, with assistance provided only as required.

“Customers may have some limits to their mobility, but the property is considerate of those limits, even down to making sure that we've got beautiful patio areas where they'll be able to sit out,” he said.

“We've designed areas where flower beds can go in, where vegie gardens can go in. This is about meeting what our customers want, not what we felt they needed.”

Carinbundi Foundation treasurer Rosemary Fry, who knows first-hand the difficulties faced by carers of people with a disability, having cared for her late sister, said the provision of independent living accommodation enabled customers to choose they way they wished to live.

“When they live independently, they have their choice of what they want to do,” she said.

“Whereas, if you live with Mum and Dad, or if you live with your sisters and brothers, you end up doing what they want you do because there’s not a lot of choice.

“For parents, siblings, aunties, uncles, whoever, it would be marvellous to know that you had somewhere that would look after the person you love and give them independence and full care and attention.”

Clive said the Carinbundi Foundation was appreciative of the support it had already received from the Bundaberg Region community, with donations ranging from the purchase of single bricks to corporate purchases of pallets of bricks.

He said more brick purchases would make the world of difference for Carinbundi’s customers.

“This is not about Carinbundi, this is about customers of Carinbundi getting the lifestyle that they deserve – the independence and the dignity.”

For more information about the Carinbundi Foundation or to Buy a Brick visit the website.

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