Big plans for little paradise

ALBERT Schembri is a man with big plans and an even bigger heart.

The psychologist, hypnotherapist and spiritual healer is awaiting news of a federal government funding application to build a one-of-its-kind spiritual retreat on his 48-hectare property at Kangaroo Creek.

The retreat, if approved, will house people rendered homeless through financial hardship or disaster, as well as provide residency and alternative healing to those battling a range of physical and mental illnesses, from cancer to depression.

Mr Schembri, who expects his project to cost about $2.5 million, is calling on caring members of the Clarence Valley community to contact him if they wish to help.

“I’m looking for people who have spiritual aspirations, who have a heart to help people and contribute to community life, to join up,” he said.

The plans include a centre made up of 31 double ensuited rooms and four large dormitories to house up to 100 clients, and a large meditation hall which doubles as a dining area.

In addition to the centre, to be named the Immanuel Spiritual Retreat, Mr Schembri has hopes of building a large shed complex on the property to act as a trade training facility for carpentry, metal and mechanical work.

“We’re trying to help those who have lost their homes and are unskilled by supplying them with training,” he said.

A shop, small huts, flower beds, an organic vegetable garden plus an alternative energy source are also part of Mr Schembri’s plans for his ‘little paradise’.

“It’s been a drive for me for a long time,” he said.

“It will be open to all people of all beliefs.

“I think our region would certainly benefit from such a centre, which will offer a safe place to live for the ever-increasing number of people seeking help.”

Anyone interested in getting involved in the Immanuel Spiritual Retreat project can phone Mr Schembri on 6649 3579.

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