Families across the Bundaberg Region will benefit from BUSHkids’ bigger service centre that officially opened its doors on Saturday.
The official opening of Bundaberg BUSHkids Centre gave local families the opportunity to see firsthand the services offered by the organisation.
Bundaberg’s Duane Roe knows how vital it is to have allied health services available under one roof in the region.
As a single father of four children under the age of six, he said since his kids had started attending BUSHkids he had seen them flourish.
“The kids have come leaps and bounds since we first came here a bit over a year ago,” Duane said.
“BUSHkids have helped developmentally, physically with physio through to emotionally with support workers; we’ve had speech pathology and OT.
“They’ve gone above and beyond to assist us and I am very grateful.”
BUSHkids CEO Carlton Meyn said there had been a service centre providing free preventative and early intervention allied healthcare to kids and families in the Bundaberg Region since 2006.
“We had to move to larger premises after we started providing Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services to Bundaberg and Wide Bay on behalf of the NDIS in 2017,” he said.
“However, increased demand for our services in Bundy and the surrounding area has meant we outgrew our old service centre in Targo Street.
“We were really bursting at the seams when the opportunity arose to lease the new, bigger building in Norville.
“It had been used as a kids' day care centre so it's perfect for the services we provide. Having a new, bigger, better service centre will enable us to further expand the services we offer to families in the region.”
The new building can comfortably accommodate 16 members of staff with private space for therapy and family meetings and a dedicated teleHealth room.
“Over the past 20 months teleHealth has enabled us to continue providing services through the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's a great way to work with kids and families living in remote communities that can't make it into our service centre,” Carlton said.
“One of our biggest strengths in Bundy has always been the fantastic support we receive from the local community.
“People in the local community have always supported us and we have a particularly active Friends of BUSHkids (FoBk) organisation here in Bundaberg led by former councillor Judy Peters.”
Friends of BUSHkids is a network of volunteers based in the rural and regional communities we serve who provide practical support to the organisation, boosting BUSHkids’ profile, raising much needed funds and strengthening our position at the heart of the community.
Judy said the Bundaberg BUSHkids Centre open day, at 14 Fitzgerald Street in Norville, provided the community with a chance to open the conversations about the importance of networking around allied health.
“Everyone is talking and engaging; friends, family and volunteers all together – it’s just wonderful,” she said.
“We are a partner in the community, and the actual start of the training of the trainers started here in Bundaberg.
“We have a gold standard in training, and that standard was set and BUSHkids have set that across the state to achieve.
“I have a dream that there will be a BUSHkids centre of excellence in Bundaberg, for the Wide Bay Burnett Region, which will include a training hub for all allied health workers to help them get their degree and come and experience what their career means and see the benefits it has with families.”
BUSHkids provides free preventative and early intervention allied healthcare, both directly and in collaboration with government and other non-government organisations, to children and families who through availability or affordability are unable to access services locally.
BUSHkids specifically targets children who are at risk of poor health, educational and social outcomes reach their full potential.
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