Aged Care Opening & End of Year updates 2023

On the 28th of September, 2023, we are delighted to share that the operation of the Flexible Aged Care facility in Miali Brumby has transitioned from Australian Red Cross (Red Cross) back to Kalano Community Association Incorporation (KCAI). After 13 years under the guidance of Red Cross, the return of management to KCAI marks an important moment for Katherine and the Kalano Members. Red Cross had originally offered invaluable support at the request of the community to step in and manage the Aged Care so that the service could remain in Katherine. it was always the intention for management and operations to return to KCAI in the long term, with Kalano council pushing to strongly to reach this goal over the past two years. 

Under the Red Cross the service has performed strongly and with the approval of the Department of Health and Aged Care, now is the time to finally transition operations back to the community. The Director of social programs, Debbie Borden along with the executive team have worked tirelessly over the past few months with Red Cross to ensure a smooth handover for clients and staff. Kalano is committed to ensuring the services reflect the needs and goals of our clients, designed and delivered from a local community-led approach.


On the 2nd of November, 2023, Kalano held an official opening for the Aged Care facility in Miali Brumby. We had guests from interstate, stakeholders, local members, Venndale, Beswick, clients, family members and staff all celebrating the special occasion together.

The facility was traditionally opened by the Bunggul dance group from Beswick to the delight of family members residing at the Aged Care. After speeches from Kalano executives everyone was treated to morning tea and roo-tails. A big thank you to everyone who helped out on the day, especially our Housing team who were up at 5am preparing the fire pit and cooking up a storm for everyone! They consistently go above and beyond to help make events like this memorable for our community.

2023 is a busy year for Kalano Community Association, as an election year, communities have again turned out in numbers to nominate and elect a new Kalano Council. The Kalano AGM was held under the old shed in the main admin offices where the 2022-23 annual report was tabled along with the financial audited report. We had a strong turnout to the AGM with plenty of community feedback and ideas being brought forward going into the next fiscal year.

The town members(4) were nominated at the AGM, whilst community meetings we’re held at Rockhole & Miali Brumby in the build up to the AGM where four members for each community were elected. There have been no nominations at Geyulkan due to the sudden passing of a Kalano Council member. The Geyulkan member sat on Kalano Council for the past 2 years advocating for the community and was a very well liked and respected elder and member of the Association.

R U OK DAY 2023

On the 14th of September, Kalano held an event at the Lindsay Street market complex to raise awareness for the national ‘R U OK’ day. We were joined by loads of great stakeholders in Hoops4Health, NT health, Kentish, Team Health, Katherine West Health Board, Mission Australia, Headspace, Deadly Hair Dude, Dragonfly and the NT government. We had loads of games and giveaways for the kids, with a great turn out for everyone to have some fun. The ‘R U OK’ day encourages Australians to connect with people with insecurities and address social isolation and promote community cohesiveness which is the goal of these community events.


The Clontarf Top End Football Cup was held at the Kalano Oval at the beginning of September with teams partcipating from all accross the Territory and Kimberely regions. This was the first time Kalano’s oval has been put to the test since the new irrigation upgrades were completed and we received some great feedback from the Clontarf Foundation. C L O N TA R F T O P E N D FO OTB A L L C U P “Thanks again to the Kalano Community Associations team for supporting the Clontarf Top End Football Carnival. The football oval and facilities were fantastic and certainly helped us e xecute a great carnival. We had over 120 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lads participate in the carnival from across all regions of the Territory and teams from the Kimberley Region in WA. Really appreciate the invite to attend the Community meeting this morning and to gain a greater insight into the operations of the community. Many thanks for the opportunity to speak to everyone and share the Clontarf story during the meeting.” Cameron Ilett – Clontarf Foundation.


Kalano Community Association was incorporated back on the 9th of April, 1975 which means are 50th anniversary is fast approaching and research has begun ahead of time so we can dig up as much information possible to tell the Kalano story for the occasion. Kalano staff have been to Darwin to the National Archives and the Northern Territory Library to begin researching and recording the old history of Kalano. Some of the photos on the right hand side were taken in 1983 for the Corroboree that was held for the opening of the Kalano Health Centre in Miali Brumby. 

From the Kalano Health Clinic, Wurli-Wurlinjang was born and in 1993 was separately incorporated and proudly looks after the health of the majority of Indigenous people in the Big Rivers region. Back in the day when Kalano was starting, the Lynch Farm was on the market and the Aboriginal Development Commission provided the money to purchase the farm. At that time there was a young farm supervisor called Noel McDonald.

Noel continued to serve Kalano for 40+ years and is currently our cultural advisor for the Miali Brumby community. More documents have been requested for release to the national archives and preparation is well under way for this big milestone in Kalano’s proud journey.


The ‘Dreamtime Swag Crew’ have entered their 2nd block of training over the past couple of months that seen them produce more swags as well as bags and hammocks! PIctured left to right: Shona McClean (CDP), Layvine Barney, Mathias John, Peter Williams, Rodrigues Jimmy.

Their hard work has allowed them to donate some of the gear to family members, other CDP participants and some lucky staff in the CDP offices. In 2024, hopefully this Community Project will be generating income as the Dreamtime Swag Crew hope to start selling the products in the near future. Well done boys, keep up the great work!


Our Youth and Family services have been running a deadly cooking program with our Family Support Officer, Ruth McInerney driving the program. Katherine West Health Board were also attending the program to sit in with participants and with preparation and have a yarn to the participants. We had a 9 year old and her Grandmother cooking together and bonding. In the last session everyone prepared scones and Barramundi and it was great to see everyone engaged and learning to work together. Megan from KWHB will be back again to give the group information session on tobacco while next on the menu will be mussels and rice as part of the Good Food for Healthy Blood.

The CDP & Community Projects participants were also getting in on the cooking act. Learning new skills is essential in Community Projects as it can be a great avenue into finding a new passion and potentially a new career path. Thanks to Gilly from Remote Training Australia who took the deeadly cooking crew on a two week course.


Kalano have been receiving a lot of donations that have been a big help to our community in this calendar year. We have received over a whopping 1000 slabs of sugar-free drinks and water from Coca-Cola in Darwin to help out for various events in the community to help offer a more healthy option for refreshments. We have recently picked up over 100kg’s of clothes that have been donated from the Hilton Hotel as well as multiple bed linen, towels, doona’s and other essential household goods that have been donated multiple times in the year. These donations go towards helping various programs, community members and people in need and Kalano would like to extend a big thank you for your generosity in 2023.