submitted by Saint George Leader on 19.09.2014
Photograph: People We Support and Carers enjoying a day at the Park
By Maria Galinovic Aug. 30, 2014
Many Kytherian-Australians avail themselves of the facilities offered by ESTIA.
This has a powerfully positive effect on the carers and the 'cared-for' lives.
The development is being built with an extraordinarily generous donation of $10 million from an anonymous donor.
Kogarah councillors approved a development application on Monday night for a respite care centre at 52 Waratah Street Kyle Bay, despite Kyle Bay Residents Association expecting a deferral and "due process".
The decision was made in a council meeting room packed with association and Estia supporters, including a number of people with disabilities.
While supportive of a respite care centre for young people with disabilities on the old Kyle Williams Estate — which is in keeping with the original trust — association members fear future commercial development such as a seniors village.
They have been fighting for a guarantee that there would be no such development on the site they say is the only remaining pristine bushland in St George.
They had wanted that guarantee in writing from the Greek Orthodox Church-connected Estia Foundation and from Kogarah Council.
They have accused Kogarah Council of "unseemly haste", a "lack of due process" and "done deals" to get the development application through.
Association member Tony Soubris said a deferral would have given the council a chance to consider the implications of the National Trust listing the Kyle Williams reserve and estate, jetty and waterfront, as the Kyle Bay Cultural Landscape, and of the council's proposed rezoning amendments.
Essentially, they wanted the site, which comes with two council zonings, to be under one zoning protecting it from future development.
But the eight voting councillors decided council officers had done all the right things and Estia should go ahead with its project.
Cr Michael Platt said the public needed to understand the amount of detail council staff had gone into when preparing the application.
It had taken about six months for a decision, compared with the usual 40 days.
But association members are not convinced.
"We are considering our options on how we can obtain some sort of guarantee that no future commercial style development will be built on the balance of the estate," Mr Soubris said.
"We've asked Estia for a Voluntary Planning Agreement — which they refused — to merge the surplus land of the estate with the reserve to give the public access to the foreshore.
"And we've asked the council to put on a restrictive covenant on the site but they took the view that it was not necessary."
Estia Foundation lawyer James Jordan said Estia was not obliged by law to enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement.
"But we will comply with all the statutory and regulatory requirements at the commonwealth, state and local level and we will continue to be good corporate and charitable citizens and neighbours," Mr Jordan said.
"'We would like to thank the council and the neighbours for this interest in our application."
ESTIA provides 24 hour respite and group-home supported accommodation services for young Australian adults with intellectual and physical disabilities.
The respite homes are located at Gladesville and Roselands, and the group home "Lixouri House" is at North Ryde. The services are available to people of all nationalities and denominations who reside in Sydney, pending an interview and assessment process. Each home has the capacity to cater for five clients and a sixth bed is available for crisis situations. Full-time cooks prepare meals for our clients, and support staff are on duty around the clock to provide assistance in all essential living skills. Estia's respite homes service 150 families per year.
Estia's first group home "Lixouri House" has four young adults who reside permanently in a happy family environment. This service arose out of the need for ageing parents to feel confident that their child will be well cared for on a permanent basis. Accessing this group home service is subject to an intake process dependent upon the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care. ADHC implement a Policy to allocate people requiring support into permanent group homes.
Regardless of whether service users are accessing Estia's respite facilities or group home, there are many activities they can participate in, such as therapeutic programs, arts and craft, music appreciation, sensory therapy and hydrotherapy. Our service users also enjoy community access to many venues and attractions across Sydney too.
Estia is partly funded by the State Government of NSW. In its 15 years of operation, Estia has been recognised and acknowledged by Government departments, peer organisations and families in the community for its high standard of care and facilities. To enable Estia to continue this high standard of service, it relies heavily on fundraising and donations.
The following link provides an insight into the day to day operations of Estia's group home and respite facilities and the care Estia staff provides to those in our community with intellectual and physical disabilities. Click: Estia Foundation Promotion 1
To support and enhance the lives of individuals of diverse backgrounds with intellectual and physical disabilities by provision of quality service and a person centered approach.
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