Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    Forrest and Packer provide assistance for Fitzroy Crossing

    20/02/2008 2:02 PM

    The first steps have been taken to increase the range of family and community health services in Fitzroy Crossing in what will be a $3million partnership between the State Government and the charity Australian Children’s Trust (ACT) funded by Andrew Forrest and family.

    Health Minister Jim McGinty said Mr Forrest had shown enormous generosity and community spirit which would make a significant difference to the lives of people living in the Fitzroy Valley.

    Mr McGinty said he was also very pleased with the decision by James Packer to match the funding committed by the Trust in the Fitzroy Crossing initiative.

    “This new partnership between the State Government and the Australian Children’s Trust, funded by Mr Forrest and supported with personal funding from Mr Packer, will see the development of a package of measures to help the people of Fitzroy Crossing. It will also ensure there is permanent dental service in the town,” he said.

    The ACT initiatives include:
    • the establishment of a safe house where children can go for protection from family violence;
    • the establishment of a ‘Men in Sheds’ project, where men can learn positive skills such as - woodwork, carving, leatherwork, metalwork. This will provide alternative, positive encouragement for men and host counselling to encourage positive relationships; and
    • the establishment of a Family Centre to host positive development programs that address issues faced by families. It will include a major children’s playground.
    Under the initiative ACT and Mr Packer will contribute $1.06million in funding with the WA State Government to contribute funding and transportable units to the value of $905,000 plus land and existing buildings. The State has also directed $330,000 of Commonwealth funding towards the project.

    “This is the first step in what promises to be a very productive partnership. The State Government is currently considering a number of other ways that it can contribute towards the program,” the Minister said.

    “WA Health is pleased to contribute 10 transportable units that were previously part of the old Fitzroy Crossing hospital towards the project. We will organise and pay for them to be moved to their new location to form the Family Centre.

    “We will also explore options of locating some of our services in the new Family Centre so that we can work together with the ACT to provide a complete range of health, family and life skills services to the community.

    “In addition, the WA Public Dental Health Service will re-establish a permanent dental service in Fitzroy Crossing and employ a full-time dentist and dental clinic assistant to work in the new hospital’s new two-chair dental clinic.

    “The trust will work with WA Health to maintain the service by offering a generous contribution to support the attraction and retention of dental staff.

    “The State Government is committed to working with the Commonwealth Government to improve the lives of our indigenous Western Australians. It is fantastic to have these two influential Australians recognise this enormous challenge and make such a generous contribution.

    “Philanthropy can play an extremely important role in helping to improve society, and this is a great example.

    “This is a significant day for Fitzroy Crossing with the announcement of this landmark partnership and the opening of the new $15.7million Fitzroy Crossing Hospital and Commonwealth funded $3.5million Nindilingarri Cultural Health Service

    “We are very pleased to be working with the Australian Children’s Trust which has a proven track record in supporting community development in Kalgoorlie."

    The Australian Children’s Trust was established in 2001 by Andrew and Nicola Forrest with the aim of assisting underprivileged children and with a particular focus on addressing the needs of indigenous youth.

    The trust believes in helping people to help themselves. Rather than providing one-off, short term solutions, the trust believes there are greater benefits to be gained by those facing social disadvantage by nurturing and instilling belief through education, personal development and ongoing support.

    In addition to developing its own initiatives, the ACT also provides financial support to other established organisations and charities with similar ideals and goals. Since its inception, the Trust Investment Committee has allocated funding to numerous positive causes such as the Family Training Institute in Kalgoorlie, Foodbank, The Smith Family and two programs conducted by the Red Cross

    Chaired by Mr Forrest, the trust has an independent board and executive committee that includes Nicola Forrest, Hope for Children founder Jacqui Gilmour, Australian Olympian Great Herb Elliott, head of Government Relations for WorleyParsons Marcelle Anderson and Sadie Canning, the first indigenous matron appointed in Western Australia.

    Minister's office - 9422 3000