A new sign sits proudly on the face of the Dundaloo Enterprises building on Wingham Road.
The sign is the building's new name - Gayay Lagili - which means 'increase self in each other' in Gathang, the language of the Biripi people.
The name, suggested by Biripi Elder, Uncle Mick Saunders, represents the values and vision of Dundaloo.
"When I started to talk to Mick about what name we would give (the building), we wanted to make it something that was meaningful," Dundaloo CEO Mark Drury said at the naming ceremony, which took place on Monday, April 9, 2022.
"So when Mick came up with Gayay Lagili, we knew that was it. That was perfect, that was exactly what we wanted to say. Because essentially what we were saying was we need to invest in each other to invest in ourselves," Mr Drury said.
The naming ceremony had a strong Indigenous theme, with Uncle Mick and MidCoast Christian College's Koori Dancers welcoming the gathered crowd to Country.
Following speeches by Mr Drury and Colin Steber, the name was unveiled by one of the original directors of Dundaloo, Margaret Griffiths, and William Smith, a young Biripi man and client of Dundaloo.
Matt Zarb, employed by Dundaloo as family and community liaison, led the Dundaloo Drum Corp - a group of clients who play regularly with Matt - in a composition of their own making. One of the drummers, Jack Maher then took the mike as a beatboxer, accompanied by Matt on guitar.
The building has been part of the Dundaloo Support Services story for almost 70 years. It was built in 1953 and was originally the Dundaloo School for Children with Disabilities, founded by the Machin family.
It has seen the beginnings of Valley Industries, the Taree Christian College (now MidCoast Christian College) and the Manning River Steiner School over the years.
"And Dundaloo Active, and now Dundaloo Enterprises," Mr Drury said.
Dundaloo itself has undergone many incarnations over the decades, keeping up with the ever changing face of disability services and legislation.
Now, Dundaloo is helping clients attain a feeling of purpose in their lives while working for real award wages in the community.
"We wanted people with disability to discover their purpose and to know they truly make a difference in the lives of other people And we wanted the wider community to be a part of that," Mr Drury said
Gayay Ligili now houses a commercial kitchen, where clients learn to cook, with a potential aim to run a café from the building. Dundaloo participants now do catering (they catered the Manning Made Artisan Fair in Taree this month), and are taking over the running of Football Mid North Coast's canteen.
The organisation is also partnering with Pacific FMS to supply a couple of workers for mowing and council maintenance.
"We're moving away from the traditional work force model that has been associated with disability and we're creating something that will make a difference to the entire community," Mr Drury said.
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