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Canberra Hospital Foundation reception [Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley]


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal People, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good evening, everyone. David and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House.

Can I thank Alison Ware, a therapeutic harpist, for playing for us tonight — thank you, Alison. Your music creates a calming and peaceful atmosphere.

There would be very few of us here tonight who have not had personal or family experience of time spent in hospital or in out-patient health care. It can be an unsettling experience, a time perhaps of uncertainty and apprehension.

The appearance of a friendly face or reassuring words can be an important part of making such experiences less threatening and more bearable. And, of course, access to the best possible health care, supported by the latest equipment, is something that we seek for ourselves and aspire to for our health services in general.

Tonight we are recognising an important Canberra organisation that has made a significant contribution to the delivery of health services throughout the Territory.

The Canberra Hospital Foundation aims to give patients the best experience possible during their stay in hospital. The foundation is also there to help support family members. It achieves its aim through philanthropy of generous donors and by holding fundraising events. Many of the organisations and businesses that host fundraising events are represented here tonight.

Since its beginnings in 2009 the Canberra Hospital Foundation has raised more than $9 million to support the achievements of its objectives.

  • The foundation has purchased new and innovative medical equipment.
  • It has funded important research.
  • It has provided support for patients requiring medical support at Canberra Hospital due to significant trauma or injury or an ICU end-of-life situation, or newborn babies requiring specialised Neonatal Intensive Care not available at their regional hospital. 
  • And monies raised are enabling spaces to be less clinical and more comfortable for patients and their families. For example, the foundation supports the refurbishment of away-from-bed areas for patients and family members that offer a more homely, age-appropriate space. These areas provide a much more relaxed environment, helping to relieve any anxiety that may be caused by clinical areas focused on medical intervention.

In addition, the foundation supports  many comfort items to enhance the hospital stay for patients and their families such as the iconic hospitality trolley operated by volunteers at the Canberra Region Cancer Centre.

This reception provides an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the foundation’s donors, supporters, volunteers and staff who have enabled such significant contributions to be made.

As Patron of the Canberra Hospital Foundation, I want to thank all of you for your generous and unwavering support of a great foundation.