In Indi, our largest employer is health services. Today I pay tribute to one of these health services, where I am proud to say I worked for 30 years as a midwife, nurse and researcher.

This month North East Health Wangaratta celebrated their 150 year anniversary – that’s 150 years of being with people during life’s biggest moments – births, emergencies, surgeries, recoveries and in life’s final moments as well.

North East Health Wangaratta is a lynchpin in our community. The theme of the celebrations is ‘building on healthy foundations’. And what incredible foundations they are. Established in 1872, North East Health Wangaratta started with a 40-bed ward servicing only 2,400 people, and has since grown to provide critical health services to a catchment area of 90,000 people.

The hospital relies on a large cohort of volunteers who selflessly give their time each week, from community palliative care, aged care and patient support. At a time when we are experiencing severe health workforce shortages, it is heartening to see strong community support for our healthcare.

I want to acknowledge Libby Fifis, CEO of Northeast Health Wangaratta and the executive team, Board Chair Alison Maclean and board members, the doctors, the nurses, the allied health professionals, the midwives, the cleaners, the ward clerks, ALL the dedicated staff, students and volunteers. Thank you for all the work you do to provide an invaluable service to our community.

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