Official: Claire McGuire, who gave the welcome to country, hoists the Aboriginal flag as Fresh Start chief executive Jeff Claughton looks on. Mr Claughton raised the Australian flag earlier as a reminder for people to be good citizens.

FRESH Start Recovery Program’snew facility, The Hill, was officially opened last Friday afternoon beforea large gathering of politicians and community members.

Fresh Start chief executive Jeff Claughton said the transaction for the Spencers Brook Roadproperty went through in December last year.

“Since then we have had an army of volunteers turning this facilityinto what yousee today,” he said.

The three storeyold nurses’ quarters in the middle oftown isstill in their possession, and it will continue to be used for an introductory phase of treatment.

“As people go through thatphase of getting their head clear, they will then graduate out to The Hill after about 10 weeks,” he said.

Across the two facilities there are 135 beds at Fresh Start’sdisposal which will prove to be beneficial.

“This facility is our response to the scourge of methylamphetamine,” he said.

“We haven’t acquired thispropertybecause we are building an empire –we now have ample accommodation for staff and clients.”

The buildings were constructed during the second World War.

Later, the buildings weresold and turned into a holiday camp, and weresubsequently sold to a Christian group.

“We were blessed to purchase this property from them,” he said.

Fresh Start manager Darrylin Brain said the story for her was about recovery.

“I can look around and see the faces of so many men that have done amazingly well, some past residents that have changed their lives and then others here that are still part of the rehab,” she said.

“Saying thank you is really difficult because every one of the men that have been here have put in an amazing amount of work, working tirelessly, both coming out of the hospital, into Northam, getting all that ready and then coming in to The Hill and preparing this place.

“It’s been incredible for them.”

At the end of proceedings the Australian and Aboriginal flags were raised as a reminder to be good citizens.

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