When the 2019/2020 bushfires devastated Kangaroo Island, the community was traumatised by the loss of infrastructure, bushland and beloved members of their community. As recovery efforts began, many struggled with not only the trauma of their initial losses, but of the loss of community and many elements of normality that came with the loss of shared facilities.
For the first phase of their facility redevelopment, Western Districts Community & Sports Club received $1 million of funding, committed in 2020 through a partnership between the AFL/SANFL, Cricket Australia/SACA and the State Government for new Ausco Modular unisex changeroom facilities. Modules were built off-site in Ausco’s Adelaide factory and were able to be delivered to the island by ferry on the back of trucks. The ability to reduce transport costs and time by transporting pre-built modules via ferry was a key factor in being able to deliver this stage of the development quicker than a traditional in-situ build, especially at a time when labour and materials were scarce due to the sheer amount of rebuilding that was required across the country after the fires.
The new facility includes unisex compliant changerooms and amenities for players, a separate changeroom for umpires, a large social room for community events, a kitchen/kiosk with a bar facility, storage space and public amenities.
“I have special memories of the Western Districts Community Sports Club, having played footy there as a kid, and I was devastated to see the damage caused there.. A modular build is the perfect solution," said Corey Wingard former South Australian Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing.
Thanks to the flexibility of modular design and construction, these facilities will be able to be expanded, and a clubhouse added in later stages, as more funding was later raised by the AFL.
The project was awarded the 2022 SA/NT Parks and Leisure Australia Community Facility of the Year title.