The Centre for Appropriate Technology have designed and managed the delivery of a new laundry and ablution block at the Alyuen community. The native title holders of Alyuen elected to invest some mining compensation money in this community development project. The Central Land Council’s Community Development Unit worked closely with the native title holders to prioritise and plan this community initiative. They also facilitated the engagement and procurement process with the community.
Initially the community was interested in building a new structure for the ablution block and laundry but they had a very limited budget. CAT went to meet with the TO’s and provided technical advice which encouraged the reuse of an existing building that was closer to existing services in order to meet the project ambitions within the limited budget. The vacant building is one of a group of structures on the outstation and this laundry is now an example of what might be possible for reuse of the other buildings to deliver community facilities on a small budget.
An existing vacated building was refitted with internal walls to create a laundry with a washing machine, laundry trough and clothes line; and a bathroom including toilet, shower and hand basin. The new facility will be a great new functional asset to the community but is also anticipated to be a new social space. The front verandah provides a cool shaded area with a large bench seat to sit and have a yarn while waiting for the washing.
A success of the project was in the community engagement. There was strong participation from the male outstation residents Stanley Tilmouth and Andrew Glenn and Ti Tree resident Trevor Glenn through the construction process. CAT also facilitated a painting activity to decorate the laundry door and to select the colour for the laundry walls which provided an opportunity for the women of the outstation to be involved. This colourful new facility will assist the community to continue to live on country and is expected to be a lively new gathering place.