GRAND PLANS: An artist’s impression of how the new BUSHkids centre will look.
GRAND PLANS: An artist’s impression of how the new BUSHkids centre will look. Contributed

Children's service set to open new centre

THE demand for BUSHkids services is continuing to grow, with 178 children actively involved in local services and a further 151 on the waiting list.

To combat the growing demand, BUSHkids is setting up a new centre - double the size of the current one - to increase services and reduce waiting lists.

BUSHkids CEO Carlton Meyn said the organisation had purchased the vacant veterinary clinic on Wood St - the future site of the new centre.

COMMUNITY APPROACH: BUSHkids staff Alison Dowdle, Susan Harrison, Allison McLean, Linda Cholawinskyj and Bec Wright with Health Minister Lawrence Springborg, Mayor Peter Blundell and BUSHkids CEO Carlton Meyn at the Friends of BUSHkids launch on Friday.
COMMUNITY APPROACH: BUSHkids staff Alison Dowdle, Susan Harrison, Allison McLean, Linda Cholawinskyj and Bec Wright with Health Minister Lawrence Springborg, Mayor Peter Blundell and BUSHkids CEO Carlton Meyn at the Friends of BUSHkids launch on Friday. Jayden Brown

"The establishment of this centre will not only benefit the Warwick community but also the wider Southern Downs region," he said.

"By doubling the size of our centre we also expect to reduce our waiting periods (18 to 24 months for some services) and increase our reach into the community by attracting to our facilities visiting pediatricians, behavioural optometrists, dental hygienists, audiologists and other specialists who work with children and their parents."

Expected to be completed in late 2015, the new centre will facilitate an Aboriginal heath worker and reduce travel time for families who would otherwise need to travel to Brisbane to access vital children's services.

Mr Meyn said an expansion of BUSHkids services would attract people from outside the Southern Downs to access services.

"The availability of a larger room for group activities will improve the range of therapies we conduct and allow us to work more collaboratively with organisations with a specific focus on a disability or specialist education for children," he said.

Design group Meridian 5 Design has received approval from Southern Downs Regional Council for the Material Change of Use, with BUSHkids now selecting a builder to fit out the centre.

BUSHkids has also expanded its services in Inglewood, with Warwick staff travelling between the two centres on a regular basis.

In the past 12 months, BUSHkids has provided 381 services in Inglewood.

BUSHkids statistics

795 children seen in Warwick

2626 individual or group sessions in Warwick

381 sessions in Inglewood

178 children actively involved

151 children on waiting list



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