The Y Canberra Region

20 March 2024

Media Release – Closure of Chifley Gym and Get Up & Go Programs, Karabar, NSW

The Y Canberra Region (formerly YMCA) has last week, released a statement to announce the sad closure of its Chifley Gym in Canberra and Get Up & Go program in Karabar, NSW.

The Chifley Gym is a small, community gym that runs during weekdays, and has around 200 members and 50 exercise physiology clients. Our Karabar, NSW program is a weekly exercise class of 50 members. Fees for classes and services are typically well below commercial gyms and commercial allied health providers. The gym is only open on weekdays and does not have a 24×7 service.

Over the past few years, the Y Canberra Region team has donated over $1 million dollars of its own financial reserves to keep these small services operating for a couple of hundred members.

Like most small businesses, the cost of doing business is increasingly tough for not-for-profits, and unfortunately, we cannot continue to help every member of the community.

The YMCA is primarily a youth charity and our benevolent mission is to build a better world, with and for young people. The Y Canberra Region’s core businesses are Early Learning Child Care, Before and After School Care, Inclusion Basketball and our Sailing Club. Unfortunately, the Y team are not specialist health providers in allied health, aged care, NDIS, or rehabilitation.

The Y team know there is so much need across all age demographics right now in the Australian community, however the mental health burden of disease facing children and young people, has escalated sharply post-COVID and is largely preventable. Younger Australians are doing it very, very tough and we can see a whole generation of people that cannot afford to study, pay rent, and buy houses. The great Australian dream for many young people in this country is under threat. The Y, as primarily a youth charity, wants to do more to address these unique challenges facing children and young people today.

The small Chifley Gym and Karabar program, operates like a social enterprise, is not a public service, nor is it funded by taxpayers or the government. The Y Canberra Region, have kept the doors open as long as we can, and sadly, we have now had to close our doors for this small group of members.

Over the next few weeks, our amazing Y staff will be assisting our gym members and clients in finding alternative providers and luckily, we have found some fantastic community-focused gyms and private allied-health practices, on both the North and South side of Canberra that can cater for this wonderful client group and their specific needs.

The YMCA team have loved providing this service to this small gym community and will be hosting a thankyou gathering and farewell afternoon tea on the 5th April, 2024, our last day of operating.