A $5.14 million Turnbull Government investment in Bairnsdale’s new Brabuwoolong Medical Centre has secured a major step forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services in East Gippsland.
Welcoming the centre’s official opening today, Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, said local services were fundamental to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.
“This comprehensive facility provides a one-stop shop for better health,” Minister Wyatt said.
“This is about grassroots community support to ensure local indigenous men, women and children have the care they need, close to where they live, work and go to school.
“Experience shows that culturally comfortable and trusted health services empower people to take control of their own wellbeing and achieve their full potential.”
Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said it was a proud day for Koori people across the region.
“This is a welcoming place that will help health professionals work together with local families for better health,” Mr Chester said.
“With five GP consulting rooms, triage, procedure and meeting rooms and a major dental centre, Brabuwoolong has been designed with the future in mind.
“Koori maternity services are also a priority, along with outreach and chronic disease services. The current staff of 28, plus visiting specialists, are providing a whole new level of local health care.”
The new Brabuwoolong centre is operated by the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-op Ltd (GEGAC) and is named after one of the five East Gippsland Koori clans.
Mr Chester said the project was also a positive for the local economy, with Bairnsdale-based company CM & HM Banks building the centre.
The capital works program for the new facilities was provided in addition to Turnbull Government funding to GEGAC of more than $1.9 million this financial year, for health and aged care services.
“Working together with local communities in East Gippsland – and right across Australia – is the best way to help ensure we get the results we all want see to close the gap in indigenous health,” Minister Wyatt said.