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Carnarvon residential care facility to give Traditional Owners option to stay on Country

Sarah Smit -

A new $19.1 million regional Western Australian residential care facility will carry state-of-the-art technology and allow people to stay on Country for medical treatment.

The new centre has been named Gnullingoo Mia from the Inggarda words translating together to 'our home'.

A spokesperson for the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) said their Midwest team consulted with senior Inggarda Elders and the Bundiyarra â€" Irra Wangga Language Centre to pick the facility's name.

WACHS Regional Director Karen Street said the name highlights the close connection the community feels to the land and the region.

"The development of the Gnullingoo Mia Residential Care facility is incredibly important to the people of Carnarvon and we wanted the name to represent the history and culture of the Inggarda people," she said.

The 38-bed facility is located at the Carnarvon Health Campus and is slated for completion in late 2021.

It will allow local people with greater care needs to stay on Country in residential accommodation and will cater to a wide range of people who require permanent and respite care and are unable to live independently at home.

The beds at Gnullingoo Mia will meet a rising demand for aged and palliative care services in the Gascoyne area and are designed to facilitate telehealth initiatives to give residents greater access to specialists in Perth.

Flexible accommodation options will be available, with options for couples and family members.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook said ensuring the name represented Inggarda people was a "priority for the WA Country Health Service".

"Once established, Gnullingoo Mia will have state-of-the-art technology that will play a huge role in improving patient experience and giving people treatment close to home," he said.

Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn said he was pleased the project was delivered in a culturally sensitive way.

"It is great to hear that the new $19 million residential care facility will be named Gnullingoo Mia," he said.

"Local Elders have been consulted on the name, which means 'our home', and are looking forward to the opening at the end of the year."

Current residents will be able to remain at the existing facility throughout the construction period and will be transitioned to the new facility once complete.

By Sarah Smit

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