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Doors open to new Red Cross Wellbeing centre

by Susan Cullinan 22 February 2014

Indigenous Red Cross staff at the opening of the Red Cross Wellbeing Centre – Pat Gosper Place, from left: Kerry Klimm, Luke Wenitong, Kim Hill, Maud Mallie, Shannon Bowe, Michael White and Brian Healey. Image supplied

he doors have been officially opened to people from rural and remote Queensland who now have a new home away from home in Cairns while receiving medical treatment in the far north Queensland city. The Red Cross Wellbeing Centre - Pat Gosper Place, was being officially launched by Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, as Queensland Patron of Red Cross in its centenary year. Red Cross regional manager

Michael White said most of the guests at the $7 million centre are expected to be from Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander communities. “The first guests are already here – enjoying quality, affordable accommodation in an inclusive, healing and culturally appropriate environment. The centre has 44 ensuited double rooms providing accommodation for 88 people at no cost if they are eligible for the Queensland Government Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme,” he said. The opening was officiated by Traditional Owner Seith Fournile,

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with dancers from the local Gimuy Walubara Yidinji dance troupe. “With people in rural and remote communities suffering from poorer health, reduced life expectancy and higher levels of disease and illness, this will fill a real gap for people who are unable to access the quality and range of medical services people in the city take for granted,” Mr White said. “The centre is designed to reflect the Red Cross wellbeing model, with its sense of openness, welcome and homeliness, mirroring health and recovery. The Wellbeing

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Red Cross staff from left Michael White, Kevin Keeffe and Brian Healey at the opening of the Red Cross Wellbeing Centre – Pat Gosper Place

Centre provides a range of holistic services on site and through referral, in partnership with local organisations. “Red Cross commissioned art work from local Aboriginal artist Arone Meeks to incorporate into various parts of the building. The art symbolises flora and fauna across the seasons in the far north.” Construction of Pat Gosper Place has been funded by Queensland Health ($5 million) and the Australian Government’s Health and Hospitals Fund ($1.9 million). Pat Gosper Place occupies a site on Lake Street where Red Cross has provided medical accommodation for over 50 years. It is in the booming quarter of Cairns adjacent to the Cairns Hospital redevelopment and new oncology centre. It is the first of six Red Cross accomodation centres transitioning to wellbeing centres around the state and today’s opening is a flagship project in Red Cross’ centenary year.

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Red cross wellbeing centre  

by Susan Cullinan 22 February 2014 The doors have been officially opened to people from rural and remote Queensland who now have a new home...

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