Rehab centre name reflects community

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Australind elder Dennis Jetta, Palmerston chief executive Emma Jarvis, Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke, Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Alanna Clohessy and one of Palmerston’s first residents in Brunswick, Ricki Lee Orr.
Camera IconAustralind elder Dennis Jetta, Palmerston chief executive Emma Jarvis, Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke, Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Alanna Clohessy and one of Palmerston’s first residents in Brunswick, Ricki Lee Orr. Credit: 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 a close connection to the Brunswick River.

Australind elder Dennis Jetta performed a welcome to country at the opening, encouraging 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.

Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Alanna Clohessy was a guest speaker at the event and 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 their 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 taskforce,” Ms Clohessy said.

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

One of the facility’s first residents Ricki Lee Orr shared her own journey away from meth addiction.

“The staff here are brilliant, they really helped me,” Ms Orr said.

“I’m proud of where I am now.”

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