Service closure leaves qualified staff out of work before Christmas

Wandarma's Natasha Stewart, Steve Clarke, CIT's Janelle Ridgeway, Wandarma's Ben Thomas and Dennis Scott, CIT's Roxanne Brown and Wandarma's Paul Campbell and Colin Langlo. Picture: Alasdair McDonald
Wandarma's Natasha Stewart, Steve Clarke, CIT's Janelle Ridgeway, Wandarma's Ben Thomas and Dennis Scott, CIT's Roxanne Brown and Wandarma's Paul Campbell and Colin Langlo. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

The closure of Wandarma Drug and Alcohol Service will see five permanent staff members out of work just before Christmas, and despite completing recent training.

It is understood the Bega office will close on December 21, due to a lack of government funding, with umbrella organisation Lyndon continuing to run its successful Men’s Group program from Eden to Wallaga Lake.

Staff members recently completed a Certificate IV in Drug and Alcohol course via the Canberra Institute of Technology.

Teachers Janelle Ridgeway and Roxanne Brown from the Canberra Institute of Technology’s Yarauna Centre said through “hard work and dedication” the 12 month course had been completed in just six months.

“It’s been made easier for them because they live and breath it,” Ms Ridgeway said.

“It’s given them an opportunity to be recognised by the community.

“They are outstanding dedicated students.”

Colin Langlo, Dennis Scott, Steve Clarke, Ben Thomas, Paul Campbell and Natasha Stewart all completed the training, just weeks before the service will close its doors on many projects.

“They can now make sure people’s social and emotional wellbeing is cared for, because if it’s not then other issues come up,” Ms Rideway said.

“If any organisation is looking for highly skilled employees who can close the gap in their organisation then they have the skills, the knowledge and the education.

“This is rare to find.”

 Lyndon’s director of operations for NSW, Ed Zarnow, said the training has been a success despite the Wandarma closure.

“As a result of this training the community now has six qualified individuals who will be able to support those suffering from drug and alcohol issues in Bega and Eden,” he said.

“Lyndon through the mens group program will continue to provide drug and alcohol services in the area and this training ensures there are qualified staff to provide this support.”

This story Service closure leaves qualified staff out of work before Christmas first appeared on Bega District News.