Photo: Longreach Hospital clinical midwives – from left – Mel Armbrister, Aleesha Tindall and Thami Sikwebu in
the new-look birth suite in front of the feature wall.

A combined $10,000 donation from the Longreach Rotary and Lioness clubs has helped give
the Longreach Hospital’s birth suite a fresh new look.

Each club raised $5000 towards the work.

Longreach Hospital Maternity Manager Deirdre Murphy said the aim of the fundraising was to
raise money for some cosmetic alterations to create a more home-like, rather than clinical,environment for the birth suite.

“Evidence suggests that women have better and more satisfying outcomes when the
environment in which they give birth is more home-like, thereby allowing them to feel safe and
relaxed,’’ she said.

“We had regular meetings with the Lionesses and the Rotary club, talked to our staff and clients
and came up with a wish list of what we wanted to do.

“These included installing a large cupboard of natural wood to conceal medical equipment and
soften the clinical nature of the environment, changes to floor coverings, as well as painting and
decorating the unit in calming and natural colours such as purples, greens and browns.

“The aim was to create an environment that promotes women to be upright, mobile and active in
birth.

“However, most of this work, will have to wait until next year as the maternity unit will be
relocating from the ground floor to the upstairs area once the current round of hospital upgrades
is completed during 2017.

“But in the meantime, we have undertaken some cosmetic upgrades to the current birth suite.

“These include a feature wall in a forest green colour, painting over the outdated apricot
coloured laminate cupboards and benches in a stone colour, new hospital curtains in an earthy
colour, upgrading the bedspread to an earthy colour, adding a floor lamp, adding an
artificial plant on the bench, adding an aromatherapy station with an essential oil diffuser,
adding a speaker so women can play music and concealing as much medical equipment as
possible.

“The more substantive work will be done next year once we have relocated permanently
upstairs.

“I would like to thank the Lioness and Rotary clubs and the entire community of Longreach for
their support in raising the $10,000 we have available.

“We are very proud of the homelike and calming space we have created in the current birth
suite and look forward to undertaking even more works next year in the new birth suite.’’

Lioness Club of Longreach President Ann O’Keefe said the club’s $5000 contribution to the birth
suite had been raised through a variety of fundraising efforts, including raffles, over the past
months.

“The Lioness Club of Longreach is a regular fundraiser and contributor to the Longreach
Hospital,’’ Ms O’Keefe said.

“Previously, we raised funds for the purchase of some lounge chairs for the existing day surgery
unit.

“Longreach Hospital is a major community asset, not just for the Longreach area, but for the
whole of the Central West and we are very proud to be supporters.

“As women, we are of course especially interested in the birthing and maternity service and are
more than happy to contribute to making it more home-like, both now and in the future, for the
benefit of all women in the Central West and their families.’’

Rotary Club of Longreach Treasurer Stephen Harbort said the club had worked with the staff of
the maternity unit to host a very successful Calcutta event which had raised $5000.

“We recognise the maternity unit is an important regional service that supports the entire
Central West community and is therefore a very worthy recipient of our help,’’ Mr Harbort said.

“It is part of Rotary’s international philosophy to support their communities and other worthy
causes wherever possible.’’

ENDS