Organisers of a new joint initiative of the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation and the Dunghutti Language and Culture group have been left devastated after brazen thieves broke into their new office.
The thieves entered the office on Belgrave Street in Kempsey sometime on Monday night or early Tuesday morning and stole a 55" TV that was going to be used as a tool to teach Dunghutti language classes and share cultural stories.
"They also took 18 laptops that were for senior students who don't have access to their own computers and they were donated by Community Housing Limited," Program Manager for Kinchela Boys Home Jo Kelly told the Argus.
"The Dunghutti language lessons run by Fred Kelly were also going to start on Monday," she said.
The thieves also stole two monitors that were still in their boxes and Fred's personal laptop and hard drive, which included countless documents and photos for language lessons.
"Everything else is replaceable, but the hard drive had really important cultural information on it," Fred said.
The new hub on Belgrave Street is the first time both organisations have had an office in Kempsey.
"It will be great to be right in the middle of the community and it's going to be a hub to teach Dunghutti language and culture," Jo said.
"But not even a week in and this happens. It's heartbreaking."
Jo was the last to leave on Monday afternoon and said everything was locked up when she left.
"There is CCTV footage from outside the office and the police have the video and are investigating, but it's made us look at installing our own security system for the future," she said.
"We think people might have been watching the deliveries throughout the week and decided to take their chance, which is sad. Both of our organisations are charities and now we have to start from scratch and rebuild this initiative.
"It's heartbreaking that something like this could happen."
Police are currently investigating. Anyone who has any information regarding this incident is urged to contact Kempsey Police on 6561 6199 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.