Page 3534 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013
billing system, the co-op is available to offer bulk bill appointments to its members. The health co-op has been a huge success in the ACT, bringing health services to those who need it most in our community, with Chisholm being its sixth centre to open. It will not be the last, I am sure.
During the opening I attended with Joy Burch and Ray Hayley and Jason Hinder from the Bendigo Bank I had the opportunity to walk around this new purpose-designed area and was delighted with what I found—several consult rooms, test rooms and a large community meeting area. I am proud to be part of the government that has provided $200,000 for the building and to be a customer of Bendigo Bank that contributed $100,000 to this great initiative. I would like to take a moment to thank the Bendigo Bank and its board members, including the chair, Jason Hinder, for his generous donation.
However, the definite highlight of this event for me was talking to the enrolled nurse, Ms Vicki Jackson. Vicki is a real gem who was more than giving of her time at the event. I have rarely met someone so happy to be at work and so excited to show us her working surrounds. She told us of how she had decided to take on working at the health co-op after contemplating leaving the sector after many years in a fast-paced career. I believe this is one of the key factors that will help the co-op thrive. With extremely experienced and friendly staff and their willingness to give of their time, you will find that whenever you walk into one of these centres you will be treated not just as another number but as a patient the staff are more than happy to care for.
Vicki showed us the purpose-planned ECG area separated from all the other rooms, ensuring a private and peaceful area for patients requiring diagnosis. She took real pride in showing us the community room available at the centre. This facility will mean the co-op can hold group meetings and provide training opportunities for the community. These classes may include nutrition and mothers groups, two very successful programs currently undertaken in west Belconnen. I was happy to hear the meeting area will not be limited to use by the co-op, with plans to open it to the local community also when needed, ensuring that no part of the centre is underutilised.
I will take a minute to thank the board members of the co-op. Without their vision, none of this would be possible: the chair, Adrian Watts, the secretary, Peter White, Roger Nicoll, Margaret Stewart, Brian Frith, Robert Dean, and Blake Wilson. I also thank the doctors and nurses at Chisholm: Dr Luz Espino, Dr Eugene Tshibangu, Dr Olugbenga Odeleye, Mr Christopher Helms and, of course, Ms Vicki Jackson who I have mentioned.
I am sure it will be a great success in Chisholm for the National Health Cooperative, and I am looking forward to the construction of the next one—hopefully built down south—to look after those residents who need it.
Lions clubs—youth of the year program
MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.20): I rise today to speak about the Lions youth of the year competition. Lions youth of the year is a national program designed to help young people improve their skills before entering the workforce run by Lions clubs across