May 01, 2023

Old Wynnum Hospital to become an aged care facility for First Nations Residents

Untitled design (46)
Image Source: Yvette D'Ath MP on Twitter

The Old Wynnum Hospital in Brisbane is set to be transformed into a specialised aged care facility tailored to First Nations residents with the help of their community in an effort to provide more culturally-appropriate and safe care.

The redevelopment follows the opening of Perth’s first Aboriginal aged care hub in the city’s south, helping older First Nations people and elders in Western Australia better access the aged care system with an innovative facility that has been co-designed by the Indigenous community.

These moves are expected to set a new standard for aged care in the region, with the development being widely anticipated by those in the community.

The Winnam Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation has been formally handed over the hospital site by the Federal Government to begin the process of creating a dedicated Indigenous health and aged care facility. The corporation is planning to demolish the old hospital site and build a new residential aged care facility with over 30 beds.

The plans for the development are still in progress, but the corporation hopes the redevelopment will become a wellbeing precinct hub with a range of community services. 

In addition to the aged care facility, there are plans for a childcare centre, kindergarten, and medical centre to also be established on the site in future stages of the development.

Winnam Chair, Aunty Becky Thomson, spoke to the ABC about the inclusive nature of the facility, saying, “the grounds – and I’ve always said this from the inception – are inclusive of everybody, not just Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We are inclusive, not exclusive, and we would like everyone to come and enjoy the grounds here and the services that will be provided here.”

The land was previously intended for a high-rise residential development, but the corporation applied to have it converted into a health facility, marking a significant milestone in a journey that began in 2017.

Judy Watego, a current resident of the Georgina Hostel and Aged Care Facility in Morningside, is eagerly looking forward to the new facility. She is from Brisbane’s bayside originally and said, “I can’t wait, to be honest, to smell the salt air. To me, it will be like going home.”

The State’s Health Minister, Yvette D’Ath, highlighted the significance of the facility’s design, saying, “The design of the Wynnum facility is very different to aged care facilities as we know them, and it’s much more aware of what our First Nations people need. It’s been co-designed by them. There will be yarning circles, there will be areas for sorry business, and that is really important, and things that are completely lacking in a normal aged care facility.”

The State Government is yet to announce the timeline for construction and further details about the new facility. However, it has been confirmed that the Federal Government has committed approximately $26 million in funding for the project’s construction.

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  1. Isn’t continuing to discriminate like this how we are in such a mess?

    There are no white only nursing homes, hospitals or child care centres so how can there be black only places..that’s simply wrong. Care is care and blacks don’t have a single need that whites don’t have.

    1. There are numerous multicultural aged care facilities throughout Australia who all meet the needs of the residents who live there. I work for one!

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