Tuesday 14 April 2009

Edmonton to get new Indigenous mothers' centre

Today was a most special day for Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan, an Earlville-based Indigenous community-managed organisation, supporting mothers.

It is Australia's first Indigenous community organisation that specialises in women and child maternal health care, providing services to North Queensland region for 25 years. Today, Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan remains one of Australia's visionary Indigenous organisations that is leading the way at the cold face, bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health care.

PHOTO: Jim Turnour MP, Hon Jenny Macklin, Auntie Rosie, and Lillian Simpson, CEO Mookai Rosie.

At a special ceremony, between rain showers, the soil was turned on a new $5 million custom-designed residential facility, at Valda Street, Edmonton. As there are no birthing facilities in Remote Cape York and Western Queensland, pregnant women must come to Cairns around four to six weeks before the birth of their baby.

Whilst they are at Mookai Rosie, mothers are helped with education to understand nutrition, reproductive health, pre and post natal care, environmental health, and even support.

The new building, that will be sited at Edmonton, on top of the eight shared bedrooms, will include two living areas, a large dining area and kitchen, plus a meeting room for post-natal education programs and other support services.

First mooted several years ago with initial funding of some $1M announced by former Leichardt member Warren Entsch, the remainder of the funding comes the Federal Government’s Indigenous Mothers’ Accommodation Fund.

The facility has been designed in such a way that a proposed future expansion to cater for additional clients can be carried out with minimal disruption to infrastructure, services, staff and clients.

Today's ceremony was attended by local traditional owners, Auntie Rosie; Mookai Rosie directors and staff, along with Jenny Macklin, Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; Leichardt MP Jim Turnour; Toshie Kris, chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority; Naomi Wilson, former Queensland Minister for Families, Youth and Community Care, and of course, most importantly of all, representatives of the mothers and their children who will benefit from the new facility.

Minster Macklin also took the opportunity to announce spending of $56M to improve water and sewerage infrastructure in the Torres Strait – a move widely supported by those present.

The importance of the event was underlined by the large media contingent - even us independents - who covered the event.

NEW BIRTH: Jim Turnour MP, Hon Jenny Macklin, and Toshie Kris.
  • Photo and additional reporting: John Robinson


Edmonton Ed said...

$5 Million for eight bedrooms? What a government boondoggle this is going to be. Why are we encouraging more unwed, unskilled, uneducated, low-income mothers to have more rugrats?

For $5 Million?

This place will be trashed and unusable in two years, mark my words.

John, Kuranda said...

Edmonton Ed

What an ill-informed piece of work you appear to be. Your comments appear to suggest that only married, university educated, high income parents should have the rights to bring children into this world. What anti-social rock have you been hiding under? Plus your under tone of racist comment.

If you cared to check the facts from the web-site link in the blog article, you would see that Mookai Rosie has been at its present location in Earlville for the past 18 years. Look at the baby photos in the website gallery. Many of these were taken at the Earlville premises. What I see are clean rooms and well manicured gardens. And if you took the time to drive past you would see a well maintained old Queenslander that blends into the neighbourhood. Not trashed at all.

Yes, the premises do have 8 bedrooms for clients. But these, as the article said, are shared bedrooms – rather akin to the 4 bed to the room situation that exists in many hospitals. Plus the other amenities mentioned as well as bedrooms for the night staff. All of which now need to meet the very high standards now demanded for this type of accommodation since the Childers Backpackers disaster. And that does come at a dollar cost.

Mookai Rosie is a well governed community based organisation. It has a long history of receiving bi-partisan support from both major political parties. That was evidenced in the blog article where it mentioned attendance from the ALP's Jenny Macklin and Jim Turnour and from the LNP the former National Party Minister Naomi Wilson.

I am sure that that in two year’s time you will be wondering where your fears came from and remember foolishly your blog posting.

When I started out this response I felt anger towards your attitude. I now feel only pity. Mookai Rosie is an organisation doing its best to give kids a kick start into life. The photos on their website fill me with hope that as a nation we are doing some things right. The pity is that you can’t or won’t see that.

Single Mum and I am doing OK said...

A report to the Population Association of America 2006 Annual Meeting, contained the information that a study of 4,898 births in 75 hospitals in 16 large cities showed that 3,600 or a whopping 73.5% were to unwed parents. Would the result here in Australia be so much different?

Whether a kid is born to an unwed mother or not should not be an issue in 2009.

Whitfield Tired of Marauding Youths said...

Hey, single mum!

There has been a massive increase in juvenile crime in the last 20 years.

Don't think unwed single mums are an issue?

Cairns Central is jammed everyday with teens and younger not going to school. Where is single mum then?

I agree with Edmonton Ed, this cotinual political correctness protecting immorality and broken families is the road to ruin. And for poorly educated, and unemployable mums, it's just more mouths for the poor hardworking taxpayer to feed.

You're unmarried and want babies? Your choice. Just get your hand outta my pocket.