The Dunlea Centre 75th Anniversary and building openings were recently featured in The Leader.
THERE are good reasons to celebrate at Dunlea Centre, Engadine.
Despite battles for ongoing funding, its work in helping young people get back on track in the past 76 years will be recognised as a proud achievement this year.
With the support of federal government funding, the centre has two new buildings — classrooms and a residential space, which opens next year.
The centre, formed in 1939, supports more than 50 troubled youth each year from across Sydney and Wollongong.
It partners with families-in-crisis by providing therapeutic, educational and life-skills services to restore and preserve relationships.
This year also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of St John Bosco, whose work underpins the centre’s programs.
Executive director Paul Mastronardi said the updated site was a significant step in reconnecting with the community.
“We had old-fashioned, leftover spaces that needed a revamp,” he said.
“We’d also like to turn our chapel into a museum for our community.”
The centre has also employed a financial independence officer to boost its profile.
“We’re not safe and secure, but we’re improving our position as a charity,” Mr Mastronardi said.
“Funding from the Department of Education seems solid and doesn’t look like it will decrease, which is good. But fundraising events died off because it’s a lot of work for not getting much back.
“However, we hope to have open day events in the new year like we did in the old days.
“Seeing the kids with home, health and social problems transition back into mainstream education is a wonderful outcome.”
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Photo Courtesy The Leader: 6 years young Dunlea Centre at Engadine marked the completion of two new buildings. Picture: John Veage