Aboriginal Hostels Limited’s (AHL) CEO Dave Chalmers visited AHL’s multipurpose Durungaling Hostel on 20 October 2023, which marked 50 years to the day since the setting of the foundation stone at the hostel.
At Durungaling, Dave met with Hostel Manager Bo Mundine and Assistant Hostel Manager Kate Anderson, as well as Beth Perin NSW/Vic Frontline Services Director and other hostel employees, to reflect on this significant occasion.
While today, Durungaling is a safe, culturally appropriate and affordable hostel for all First Nations people to stay, it started off as a student hostel for First Nations girls, supporting them while they attended high school.
In fact, Durungaling means ‘Young Woman’ – local Awabakal language.
Durungaling Hostel Manager Bo Mundine has worked at AHL for the past 22 years.
Bo said, ‘I have found that in the years I have worked at Durungaling, a large number of students have come through, with some who passed their studies.
‘But all who stayed during my time at Durungaling always left me feeling so proud of their achievements and how I played a role, along with AHL, to provide safe, affordable accommodation.’
Bo said the Newcastle hostels (Durungaling and Kirinari) grew and flourished along the way, supported by some strong First Nations women, such as hostel managers Cheryl Taaffe and Diane Gordon, who worked for AHL for many years.
Durungaling’s 50th anniversary shortly follows AHL’s 50th anniversary which took place on 6 June 2023, which means our hostels have been supporting First Nations people for 50 steadfast years.
We look forward to continuing to do so for the next 50 years and beyond.
Caption: First image on left: Setting the foundation stone ceremony for Durungaling back in 1973. Second image on right: Here we are today, Beth Perin, Bo Mundine, Kate Anderson and CEO Dave Chalmers.
Below image: Durungaling College Foundation Stone, set on 20 October 1973.