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Indigenous Facility Gets Green Light

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Indigenous Facility Gets Green Light

A $4.6 MILLION eight-bed facility for indigenous people with acquired brain injuries is set to open in Gordonvale by early 2014.

 

Non-profit disability organisation Synapse said the facility would be on a 3ha site in Gordonvale after receiving money from the Federal Government.

 

Synapse chief executive Jennifer Cullen said it would be the only culturally relevant transition facility in the country, servicing an area from Cairns through to Cape York and the Torres Strait.

 

The first intake will be selected from long-term patients with acquired brain injuries at Cairns Base Hospital and are expected to stay at the new facility for two years while undergoing rehabilitation.

 

"It's about reconnecting them back to land, culture and country," she said.

 

Ms Cullen said while it was unknown how many indigenous people in the Far North had Acquired Brain Injuries, most came from car accidents and domestic violence. Ms Cullen said the new facility would take the strain of Cairns Base Hospital, which currently has 26 indigenous patients with Acquired Brain Injuries, while saving Queensland Health $6.6 million over three years.

 

"If you provide disability services in a culturally appropriate way you actually reduce the amount of cost to the taxpayers by having beds held up at Cairns Base Hospital," she said.

 

The designs for the eight selfcontained living units are inspired by traditional Aboriginal rainforest architecture.

References and further information

This story was written by Liam Parsons - Cairns Post, Cairns QLD.

 

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