Wesley Care Tewantin

Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (8.56 pm): All members in this place have stories of local community groups who stand out from the crowd because of their commitment and spirit of caring. Each community has a unique character and each is special in its own way. Essential ingredients of these communities are the local organisations whose efforts, caring and concern show us how to be a better community from within.

I would like to share with the House tonight the story of one such organisation in the Noosa community.

Just over three years ago I was privileged to attend the opening of the Wesley Care Tewantin facility together with my then ministerial colleague and friend Tracy Davis. This was officially called the Younger People in Residential Aged-Care project and would provide young adults with high care needs with a home of their own which is not a hospital or an aged-care facility which until then was their only option.

The Wesley Care facility not only offers more suitable accommodation for young adults but also provides significantly more opportunities for residents to enjoy a greater degree of independence and interaction with their peers. The staff and volunteers at Wesley Care have subsequently proved the success of the model as all six residential placements were quickly taken up and it has remained fully occupied ever since.

I have visited this facility several times over the last three years, not only on the anniversaries but also to join them from time to time for morning tea and I have observed the difference this remarkable team makes to the lives of the young residents who call the place home.

A little while ago three of the residents were able to undertake a seven-night cruise together with their carers. The logistics of organising this travel was daunting but together with their amazing manager Kirin Hagicostas and a couple of her wonderful volunteers the three travellers had a wonderful time and I know that they returned to Tewantin with a sense of confidence and a tremendous boost to their morale.

It is not only the residents of this remarkable facility who are the beneficiaries of this organisation, but also and very importantly the family members and friends who have the confidence of knowing that the care and professionalism which their loved ones receive is of the highest calibre.

The willingness to support and assist those of our community who are less fortunate and vulnerable is a very important part of what helps make the Noosa community so great.

On behalf of everyone I thank very sincerely Wesley Care.

23 February 2016