Name reflects connection to community

Jacinta CantatoreBunbury Herald
Parliamentary secretary for Mental Health Alanna Clohessy, Palmerston chief executive Emma Jarvis and Bunbury MLA Don Punch celebrate the official opening and naming of the Beela Valley Treatment Clinic in Brunswick.
Camera IconParliamentary secretary for Mental Health Alanna Clohessy, Palmerston chief executive Emma Jarvis and Bunbury MLA Don Punch celebrate the official opening and naming of the Beela Valley Treatment Clinic in Brunswick. Credit: Harvey Reporter, Jacinta Cantatore

Palmerston’s Brunswick-based rehabilitation facility was officially named the Beela Valley Therapeutic Community in a ceremony on Friday.

The name was chosen to reflect the ties the facility and staff share with the local community, Aboriginal people and landscape.

The word “beela” means “river” or “running stream of fresh water” and signifies the close connection to the Brunswick River.

Australind elder Dennis Jetta performed a Welcome to Country at the opening and also encouraged people from all walks of life to embrace our past “warts and all” and work together towards greater healing.

“If we can allow the power of love to defeat the love of power, the world will be a better place,” Mr Jetta said.

Guest speaker Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Alanna Clohessy congratulated centre staff on the positive outcomes they had achieved in the two years since the centre first opened.

Mrs Clohessy said the centre was an example of the positive outcomes that could be achieved when people worked together and congratulated the residents who had taken on volunteering roles in the local communities.

She said the decision about the facility’s new name had been made in consultation with local elders, including Mr Jetta.

“The name was chosen to reflect the connection this service will have with the local community and the connection it has with the local Aboriginal people,” she said.

She acknowledged Bunbury MLA Don Punch for his work to help reduce harm from alcohol and other drug addiction via the Meth Action Plan.

“He is a vital part of the Palmerston task force,” Ms Clohessy said.

Palmerston chief executive Emma Jarvis said the facility was “a light on the hill in Brunswick Junction” and was pleased 75 per cent of the facility’s residents were from the South West.

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