We were delighted to have the Victorian Health Minister the Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas join us along with more than 60 guests for the official opening of our new Palliative Care Community Wellbeing Hub in Narre Warren in May.
“It’s really been a delight to see all the work that you have put into this extraordinary facility,” Ms Thomas told the guests.
“This is a project driven by its founders and by the community that supports Palliative Care South East and I know that there have been many many people who have contributed to the realisation of this wonderful facility,” she said adding.
Ms Thomas recalled that having the opportunity to meet some our clients during a visit to the building, whilst it was under construction last year, had helped her understand the important work that PCSE does in enabling people to live the life they choose after getting a diagnosis that would limit their life.
“I want to thank you for the leadership that you have shown in what palliative care can look like and how it continues to evolve and develop,” she said.
“I have seen the impacts. I’ve met your clients. I know the changes that you are making and I’m very honoured that you invited me today to be part of this very special occasion, thank you very much,” Ms Thomas said.
Our CEO Kelly Rogerson thanked the building’s architect Jake Kelly who consulted with our staff, clients and carers to develop a concept that reflected the space we have today and the many hours he donated to realise the project within budget. She also thanked our builders Newpol.
“This building was built on the generosity of so many individuals and relationships and people who know what this building means to others. It was the volunteers and staff who turned sausages at Bunnings, the extraordinary generosity of local businesses. If you look around, we got the desks at cost price, many of the furnishings at cost because the businesses out here know that we provide care to their relatives,” she said.
Attendees were also privileged to hear from our clients, past clients and their families about the incredible work our staff do every day supporting our community.
“Importantly, we received support from the families who had experience of our service, recognised our value and raised funds in memory of their loved ones in gratitude and so we could support others. There is a part of each of you in this building,” she said.
Guests included co-founders of the Dandenong Palliative Care Centre (DPCC) Dr Ruth Redpath and Beris Bird, RN who were amazed to see how we had realised the dream they began weaving back in 1984 when they drew up the plans for one of Victoria’s first home-based palliative care services.
Our new purpose-built facility is a beautiful welcoming space for our community to visit and receive professional care and for our staff and volunteers to work in and be supported. With demand for palliative care predicted to increase by 50% over the next 12 years, it also provides the opportunity to expand our service delivery options if we can raise more funds to support our work.
Our new Hub boasts an onsite social enterprise café that is educating the neighbouring office workers and passers-by about the vital role that palliative care plays in their community. And, of course, its profits will go back into supporting the services we provide. So, it’s easier than ever to support us now. Just drop in and buy a coffee!