In January 2022, the Department for Health and Wellbeing (the Department) on behalf of the previous South Australian Government, contracted Humanihut Pty Ltd to establish, and provide accommodation and facility management services for two COVID-19 Quarantine Centres in regional South Australia.
For the Department, the priority was providing immediate, culturally appropriate accommodation centres for COVID-19 positive and close contacts from remote Aboriginal communities who required accommodation to safely isolate or quarantine. The Centres were established in locations close to community to maximise opportunities for family / local support of guests, and ease of proximity for guests to enter the centre and return to country.
Humanihut liaised with the proprietor of each location to effect handover of the sites and oversee the establishment of each Centre in accordance with approved infection control guidelines. The Humanihut Field Infrastructure System (HFIS) was deployed to the sites providing an immediate accommodation solution. Humanihut successfully established two fully operational isolation and quarantine centres within a very narrow timeframe.
The HFIS provided guests with climate-controlled, safe, culturally appropriate, and secure accommodation. For the project's duration, Humanihut Logistics ensured that guests enjoyed a comfortable stay by providing daily catering, cleaning, culturally appropriate diversionary activities, site improvements, and facility maintenance services. Furthermore, children had access to a school room with resources so education could be continued. Humanihut Logistics provided dedicated 24- hour onsite logistics support to manage guest health, welfare, cultural, pastoral, entertainment, and occupational therapy needs.
A significant element to the success of this operation was the employment of local residents at each Centre, in multiple roles. Where possible, Humanihut undertook to employ local Aboriginal residents, providing them with opportunities to learn new skills. This facilitated a community connection for the guests which in turn, contributed to the Centres remaining harmonious and generally incident-free. Locally employed Aboriginal Liaison Officers at each site assisted guests with shopping, entertainment, administrative tasks, and communication with family at home. Where possible, residents’ individual and cultural preferences were considered and supplied.
Humanihut contracted Aspen Medical to provide a dedicated team of onsite health professionals and clinicians who delivered on-site, culturally sensitive health support for guests, first aid support to staff, and COVID-19 testing for guests and staff. The rostered testing of every worker was managed by Humanihut.
On arrival at the Centre, guests underwent a process of reception, staging, allocating, and induction (RSO&I). This process was managed and coordinated by Humanihut with input from supporting agencies. At the conclusion of the guests’ quarantine, Humanihut managed the “deep clean” which was required between each cohort.
Humanihut engaged contracted services to support sustainment operations throughout the program. The services engaged and managed by Humanihut included:
Humanihut demonstrated flexibility and a "can do" attitude when faced with changing requirements, whether responding to fluctuating guest numbers or tailoring facility management services to provide suitable and cost-effective solutions. Arrangements were transparent and managed professionally, timely, courteously, and collaboratively.
The overwhelming feedback received attributed the success of the program to the dedication and professionalism of Humanihut Logistics staff in understanding the cultural needs of the guests and ensuring a connection to home and community was maintained.
On behalf of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, I would like to thank Humanihut Pty Ltd for the care, dedication, and professionalism demonstrated in ensuring that both were fully operational within the timeframes specified, and for providing outstanding facility management services to vulnerable South Australian communities.
Daniel Casement, Executive Director – Strategic Projects Department for Health and Wellbeing, South Australia
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