NSW Give Back Week 2024: SHAPE and DLG SHAPE deliver pro-bono refurbishment of Mudgin-Gal

For Give Back Week 2024, the SHAPE and DLG SHAPE NSW teams partnered with subbies and suppliers to undertake a pro-bono upgrade of the Aboriginal owned and managed organisation, Mudgin-Gal.

Give Back Week is a SHAPE volunteering initiative that aims to support not-for-profit organisations within Australia, in line with National Volunteer Week. As it also happens to coincide with National Reconciliation Week, each year, the SHAPE NSW teams partner with a local Indigenous organisation that supports Indigenous communities in inner-city Sydney to undertake a pro-bono refurbishment.

Michael Manikas, General Manager – DLG SHAPE, said the Mudgin-Gal project ties in closely with SHAPE and DLG SHAPE’s Reconciliation mission, which is dedicated to empowering Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Working with Mudgin-Gal has been fantastic for SHAPE and DLG SHAPE, who also received the opportunity to learn more about the organisation’s role in supporting Indigenous women and families in the local community. It was great to be able to give back to the community in Redfern and the women at Mudgin-gal. As part of our reconciliation mission, we identify opportunities to provide pro-bono services and help for our local Indigenous organisations,” he said.

Mudgin-Gal, or ‘Women’s Place’, is an Aboriginal organisation which delivers support, referrals and community-based services to Aboriginal women and families in inner city Sydney.

Ashlee Donohue, CEO of Mudgin-Gal, said the organisation is entirely run by First Nations people, and provides a culturally safe space to support its local community.

“We are unique in that we are the only 100 percent run by and for Aboriginal women’s centre in metropolitan Sydney and we only service Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and families. Our organisation offers skills-based programs to build the capability of Aboriginal women and families, while providing a safe space for vulnerable members of the community,” she said.

During the week of 20 to 24 May 2024, SHAPE volunteers teamed up to provide a series of improvements to the Mudgin-Gal Centre, with the help of Joint Projects Sydney, Demobros, RTM Projects, Donny’s Painting, Mr Water Plumbing, Seda Services and Somerville Electric. The works, which totalled more than $84,000 in time and donations of materials, included building a new kitchen and installing updated appliances, such as a fridge, dishwasher, stove, and oven. In addition, the team completed joinery in the boardroom, painted and partitioned the walls with significant water damage, and serviced the existing air conditioners in the centre.

Multiple storage units were donated from other SHAPE projects and volunteers bought new furniture to enhance the staff terrace and living rooms. Vital supplies were also provided, including nappies, toys, kitchenware, kids’ backpacks and lunchboxes, as well as interior decorations, such as throws, pillows, art and plants. Throughout the week, the SHAPE team worked closely with Mudgin-Gal to considered how to best utilise the space to be functional for staff and community members.

Mudgin-Gal, or ‘Women’s Place’, is an Aboriginal organisation which delivers support, referrals and community-based services to Aboriginal women and families in inner city Sydney.

On the final day of volunteering, a worker bee was held with 10 members of the SHAPE NSW teams, who volunteered to gather supplies and set up the furniture and storage units in the centre. The teams from SHAPE and Mudgin-Gal also gathered for a BBQ to celebrate the week’s works and mark the end of the project.

James FitzGerald, General Manager – SHAPE NSW, said: “SHAPE’s impact initiative aligns with National Volunteer Week. It’s a great opportunity for SHAPIANs and our subcontractor base to engage with organisations such as Mudgin-Gal, and to be able to connect with the community and help improve their vital services.

“The finished result showcases the team’s efforts, who worked hard to create a functional and updated space which caters to Mudgin-Gal’s requirements. A huge thanks to the SHAPE and DLG SHAPE volunteers, Pixel Collective and our generous subcontractors who donated their time and materials to this project,” he said.