Posted: 01 June 2021
Board, staff and volunteer boots have walked the magnificent Murray Pine floorboards of our offices at 138 Lemke Road, Gateway Island for 24 years. Sadly the Commonwealth Government has decided to board up, rather than repair the former Lemke family house (our office) and dairy buildings.
Having spent much time in the familar old house, staff and volunteers hold great fondness for it's quirks and special features; open fireplaces in most rooms, verandah on three sides, a 1950's tiled bathroom, huge slow combustion stove in the kitchen and of course the beautiful pine floorboards throughout.
In the early years of our tenancy, renovations of the old house enabled us to create a comfortable working office, meeting space and 'HQ'. In more recent years the building has been allowed to run down significantly, and the recent discovery of structural weakness has brought us to this point.
The order to vacate, on the eve of the current Victorian Covid lockdown, was a shock. Board, staff and volunteers rallied together over two epic days last week clearing the house and dairy sheds; archiving, moving, cleaning and disposing of redundant goods and chattels.
Our commitment to recycling, repurposing and reusing necessitated some nimble organising in the sudden move. Our printer was returned to Smiths Office Supplies for use by another charity, our surplus computer hardware donated or transported to the e-waste bins at the Waste Transfer Station. Office furniture was either donated or loaded into a trailer for delivery to the Tender Centre when the current Covid lockdown ends.
The good news is that Parklands Albury Wodonga will continue to operate out of 138 Lemke Road. Office staff have smoothly taken up our 2020 practice of working from home, and the Lemke Road site is otherwise ideal as a works depot. Field rangers have plenty of space and quality work sheds to enable ongoing operations.
A big thank to Board, staff and volunteers who rallied together to make this move possible.