Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, today I speak about Marillac House, an accommodation house designed particularly for people who need an affordable place to stay when they visit Launceston for medical treatment.
Located in the Launceston central business district, Marillac House is only a short drive to hospitals and city-based treatment clinics. It also provides a homely, comfortable atmosphere for people receiving treatment and for those who look after them, by being close by to our city park, coffee shops and entertainment.
Marillac House and those who work there strive to provide caring at times of need by providing in-house care and support for patients and their carers, family and friends. Marillac House was opened in October 2007 as a special work project of the St Vincent de Paul Society after Vinnies society members and the community concluded there was a lack of low-cost house accommodation and accessible support services for hospital patients, their families and their carers. In identifying these issues, it was found people travelling long distances were the most disadvantaged, such as those travelling from King Island, Flinders Island, the north-west coast and the east coast of Tasmania.
As a result, the services provided by Marillac House are comprehensive, but also allow a high degree of independence and self-service for those who are staying so guests can be in control of their environment. Each room contains tea, coffee and biscuits, laundry services are provided and a lending library for books and DVDs is available. While meals are not included, the central location of Marillac House in the Launceston CBD provides a vast range of options for all types of meals, supermarkets and entertainment.
Assistance with transport or advice on what to do while in Launceston are provided by the staff of Marillac House, so the guests can take advantage of all there is to do around the city while knowing they have their home away from home not too far away. Nine rooms are available, ranging from single, double or twin rooms and family suites, each with their own facilities, and there is a live-in caretaker to provide assistance out of hours. Because of this, those who stay at Marillac House enjoy security, support and independence, with the knowledge that Marillac House staff work closely with local hospitals and allied health services to ensure comprehensive service delivery.
Moreover, many volunteers dedicate their time working at Marillac House to provide a high degree of comfort and support to guests during their stay. In March 2018, Marillac celebrated its tenth anniversary with an open day for members of the public to visit and understand the invaluable work being done by those who work and volunteer at the house. As a result, many people were able to see the inner workings of the house, including the comfortable and safe environment that people in crisis can afford in their time of need.
Something which some people may not realise is that many people who stay at Marillac House stay there alone. As anyone could imagine, going through a health crisis alone would be an extremely intimidating and unpleasant experience. I therefore agree with the Marillac House staff and volunteers that it is more than just accommodation - it is a community . What makes Marillac House so special is not just the affordable, safe and comfortable accommodation, but those who work there and those who stay there. Truly special work is undertaken at Marillac House. I commend and thank all involved for their dedication to assisting vulnerable people in their time of need.
Ms Rattray - Hear, hear.