Bright, welcoming, convenient – the new-look Merrylands HealthOne has opened its doors for western Sydney locals with an official opening ceremony.
The HealthOne centre (formerly Merrylands Community Health Centre) now offers a range of primary care services including child and family health, podiatry, mental health and drug health services after closing in 2019 for redevelopment.
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Chief Executive Graeme Loy said the opening of the centre was an important step in improving healthcare access for the local community.
“It is now more convenient for local mums to take their kids to see a speech pathologist or attend a regular check-up,” Graeme said.
“This purpose-built space is well-equipped for one-on-one appointments with healthcare specialists, as well as for group sessions.
“Every year thousands of people receive care through community health centres. They are the core of our operations, providing high-level services and reducing the risk of hospital admission.”
Merrylands resident Dianne previously attended the centre’s child and family nurse clinic in 2016 when her daughter Marylyn was born.
Marylyn, now four, sees speech pathologist, Farrah Alameddine.
“It’s very exciting to be back here,” Dianne said.
“The new building is lovely and bright, with lots of natural light. It’s very clean, open and welcoming. The wood finishes and colours are really lovely.”
She said the centre’s return meant reduced travel time and free nearby parking.
“It’s so convenient that the family can even walk to the centre.”
Local Aboriginal Elders Uncle Greg and Uncle Wes conducted Welcome to Country at the opening ceremony, along with a smoking ceremony to spiritually cleanse the centre and ensure a positive return for staff and clients.
A special gift was given to the centre by the local Aboriginal artist Danny Eastwood.
A traditional artwork capturing the services provided at the HealthOne centre now welcomes locals as they enter the building.
“When I was asked to paint this for the centre, I immediately knew what the painting would look like,” Danny said.
“The big circle in the centre of the artwork symbolises the Merrylands HealthOne.
“Around it are the community members, each of them having their health issues. The hands reaching out to them are the staff of the centre providing care.”
A self-taught artist, Danny has been drawing and painting all his life.
Since finishing his career as a firefighter, Danny has been teaching art across the western suburbs of Sydney, working with children, elders and prison inmates.
He has also commissioned many projects across WSLHD. In 2018 Danny was awarded Aboriginal Citizen of the Year by Blacktown Council.
To learn more about the health services available at Merrylands HealthOne, click here.
Since 2006/07, the NSW Government has committed almost $46 million to the capital development of integrated HealthOne NSW services across the State.
In 2015 the Government committed an additional $100 million to develop new HealthOne facilities, enhance existing facilities or develop information and communications technology – including the Merrylands centre.