The Vietnamese Community in Melbourne's western suburbs have come together to raise funds for the new Joan Kirner Women's and Children's at Sunshine Hospital.
Spearheaded by the Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan from Quang Minh Temple, in assocation with other Vietnamese community groups and leaders, the appeal has so far raised $300,000 towards this new facility - with more expected in coming months.
"It is an honour for the Vietnamese community to contribute to this new facility," says Dr Pham Phuc Nham, Fundraising Director at Quang Minh Temple. "We respect the support that the Australian Government has given us and we wish to give back in recognition of this support."
Over three months, volunteers collected donations from a number of community events including the East Meets West Festival, the Victoria Street Lunar Festival and the Quang Minh Tet Festival in Brimbank.
The appeal's progress was celebrated at a fundraising dinner at Happy Receptions in Tottenham on Friday 1 March, which was attended by honorary guests Natalie Suleyman MP, Member for St Albans; Dr Tien Kieu MP, Member for South Eastern Metropolitan; Ms Ingrid Stitt MP, Member for Western Metropolitan; and The Hon Bronwyn Pike, Chair of Western Health.
A cheque for $296,500 was presented to Western Health Chief Executive Russell Harrison on the night who announced that the funds will be used to purchase a NICU-CAM for the Special Care Nursery, which will enable remote-viewing of babies in hospital by families located interstate or overseas.
"The Joan Kirner Women's and Children's at Sunshine Hospital will be the first hospital in Victoria, and only the second in Australia, to offer this special level of technology," says Mr Harrison.
"We are very grateful to the Vietnamese community for their dedication and support. They have been strong supporters of Western Health for many years. To all who made a personal donation to the appeal...thank you."
The Joan Kirner Women's and Children's, set to open in May this year, will deliver the healhcare needs for growing families in Melbourne's west. It will include expanded maternity wards, a full-floor children's ward, extra labour delivery rooms, specialist women's and children's health clinics, and an expanded special care nursery.
For further information visit womensandchildrens.wh.org.au