Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Maari Ma Health Centre opens

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In a fitting opening, two local residents cut the ribbon to declare the new $9m Maari Ma Aboriginal Health Care building officially opened. Shirely Evans and Ngearie Cattermole cut the ribbon and then the cake. Officiated by Des Jones, Chair of the Maari Ma Board, after Acknowledgement of Country and general welcome, Des made mention of those who had worked towards the completion of the Health Centre. These included the architects and project managers, Troppo, and David Payne Constructions for building the health centre in only 11 months, on time and on budget and incorporating local workers whenever possible. With the holistic concept of the centre, Maari Ma is providing culturally appropriate health services.

Shirely Evans and Ngearie Cattermole cut the ribbon and then the cake. Photo: Wilcannia News

Des also acknowledged the following for their funding assistance:

  • Department of Regional NSW Commonwealth
  • Department of Health and Aged Care
  • Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation
  • NSW Ministry of Health

Des also noted that Maari Ma also contributed a significant amount of funds to the project and thanked the Commonwealth Bank for supporting MaariMa in this endeavour.

There were also a number of people who have assisted during the design of the building : artist Andrew (Thulli) Jones, Murray Butcher for his knowledge of the local plants for our landscaping, the late Cyril Hunter for his support and helping us during the time when the site was being assessed for significance regarding artefacts, the Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council for assisting us to implement the Aboriginal Heritage Impact Plan, the Far West Local Health District and Central Darling Shire Council.

Des ended by thanking staff, past and present, who were an integral part of the planning and eventual relocation. In particular, it was great to see Dr Penny back in Wilcannia for this auspicious occasion. 

Wilcannia News May 2024

This article appeared in Wilcannia News, May 2024.

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