May 16, 2023
State Government backs Bunbury Aboriginal Innovative Health Hub and Research Facility
Bunbury’s proposed Aboriginal innovative Health Hub is now closer to reality after WA Premier Mark McGowan announced on Friday, financial commitment for the long-awaited Health Hub by allocating $18.3 million to this project. This matches the Federal Government allocation of $18.3 million to support the construction of the Health Hub.
SWAMS (South West Aboriginal Medical Service) Board of Directors and the CEO, Lesley Nelson, thanked Premier Mark McGowan, Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler, for making the funding allocation, Western Australian Senator and Senate President Sue Lines, Linda Burney, Minister for Indigenous Australians and Don Punch MLA, Member for Bunbury and the SWAMS Health Hub Advisory Group for their ongoing support in this project.
“The Health Hub will have an enormous, positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in the Southwest”, Ms Nelson said.
With the construction of the Hub pressure is expected to ease on existing mainstream medical services in the region by using the latest and emerging technologies to help reduce pressure on emergency departments and providing more targeted management of primary health care.
The Hub will be accessible and attractive to service users, improving the capacity of specialist providers to plan and deliver their services resulting in improved health outcomes by offsetting operating costs and greater efficiency in service delivery and health research.
Professor Christopher Lawrence (previously at University of Technology Sydney and now based at Monash University) together with his team, played an instrumental role in working with SWAMS Health Hub by translating Indigenous knowledge systems in the architecture and Master technology plan.
SWAMS was born from humble beginnings in 1997, with only three staff members and six months of funding to its name. Twenty-six years later, it is a thriving organisation with 160+ highly skilled and trained staff, modern clinic facilities servicing much of the regions in the Southwest, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Peel with an impressive portfolio of health programmes and services, providing high quality, holistic and accessible, culturally appropriate, comprehensive primary health care.
“Planning of the Health Hub has taken many years involving local Elders, community members and SWAMS staff, to bring this vision to fruition.” Ms Nelson said.
“Improving the health of Aboriginal people is one of the main Closing the Gap targets which the development of this facility will support. This means our Noongar people will have better access to high quality, fit for purpose, culturally appropriate health care.”
“We thank the City of Bunbury who gifted the land known as Jaycee Park to SWAMS for the construction of the Health Hub. Thank you to our community, staff, stakeholders and partners without whom this project would not be possible.”
SWAMS CEO, Lesley Nelson.