It’s been little more than 18 months since the first sod was turned but MSWA have already opened their $1.5 million Community and Health Services Centre in Bunbury.
The new centre, located in Davenport, was officially opened by disability services minister Stephen Dawson and MSWA President George Pampacos on Wednesday morning.
MSWA chief executive officer Marcus Stafford and Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan also attended the state-of- the-art centre, which will be a one-stop shop for people with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.
Mr Dawson said it was important to recognise what a wonderful facility they were opening.
“MSWA has been supporting West Australians living with neurological conditions for more than 45 years. The organisation has a proven record of providing a wide range of supports and services to meet each person’s individual needs,” he said.
“The new purpose-built centre provides the South West with superior facilities and enables MSWA to continue their important work assisting people living with neurological conditions.
“I’ve had a tour around of the centre and it’s amazing. I’ve been to a few different service providers since taking on the role and I have to say, this centre is one of, if not the best centre in the state so you should all be very proud.
“I’m confident that MSWA will continue to deliver quality support and services to its members and I congratulate you all.”
The Bunbury facility currently has 200 members and 12 staff, but that is expected to grow over the next few years, with more and more people choosing to call the South West home.
MSWA chief executive officer Marcus Stafford said demand for services in the South West is constantly growing.
“Prior to this facility, we were operating out of an ageing building in Bunbury that didn’t meet all of our members’ needs,” he said.
“But this centre is purpose designed and purpose built, and, among other services, the new treatment facility will offer physiotherapy, occupational therapy, personal assessments, counselling, nursing, peer support and social gatherings.”
Bunbury resident Melanie Mileham was diagnosed with MS in 2008, when she was 33, suffering symptoms of weakness in her right leg, severe fatigue and loss of balance.
Ms Mileham said she comes to the new centre every Wednesday morning to take advantage of the services on offer.
“The new place is amazing. There’s heaps of room and the facilities are great,” she said.
“I use occupational therapy support, physio, massage fatigue management, the counselling and the Outreach Group. We also get to hear about the latest medical breakthroughs and research, so there’s a lot going on.
“And there’s not just people with MS here, so we share our experiences. It is a very caring and safe environment.”
Mr Stafford said he would like to thank the people of Western Australia for making the opening of the new centre possible.
“At MSWA we rely on the generosity of the people who buy our lotteries, take part in our events and donate to us to help provide the support and services for people with MS and other neurological conditions,” he said.
“We’re increasing our footprint the number of services we deliver across the Perth metropolitan area and regional WA and that’s fantastic.”