The South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (SETAC) has extended its operations by opening a new primary health care centre in Kingston Beach on Friday, October 16.
The organisation has been operating in Cygnet since 1992 and has been looking to establish a firmer foothold in the Kingborough area to better support the local Aboriginal community.
Many members of SETAC, Elders, Parliament, both staff and councillors from Kingborough Council and members of the community attended the event to celebrate the opening of the new centre.
A community managed organisation, SETAC assists and supports elderly or disabled members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, provides leadership and mentorship and works actively toward reconciliation and recognition of indigenous communities for the betterment of all Tasmanians.
The launch of the primary health care centre in Kingston Beach was conducted by Tracey Dillon, with prominent local Elder Rodney Dillon, Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Dean Winter and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Honourable Roger Jaensch MP invited to speak at the event.
Mr Dillon spoke passionately about the work SETAC has been doing; supporting people to stay in their own homes, providing accessible primary health care services, creating opportunities and aiming to protect, unite and empower the Aboriginal community.
As well as the efforts of the experienced members of SETAC, Mr Dillon acknowledged the young people involved, who would continue to grow the group as future leaders of the organisation.
Mr Dillon described how relationships with local government and state politicians have been of the utmost importance in building towards stronger relationships and reconciliation between Tasmania’s communities, stating that these relationships would help Tasmania’s Aboriginal people to move forward more strongly into the future.
Mr Dillon also spoke to protecting and strengthening the heritage of Tasmanian Aboriginal people as a means of promoting good health in their community and the strong link between positive heritage outcomes and positive health outcomes.
Mr Dillon was commended by Minister Jaensch on his pride and conviction in bringing forward issues as a trusted and respected champion of the SETAC and the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.
Minister Jaensch offered his hope the new centre would bring real, measurable benefits to the community of the coming years.
Mayor Winter began by acknowledging the Mouheneenner people as the traditional owners of the land and spoke to the strong relationship Kingborough Council has with SETAC.
“We are really excited to have a SETAC service here in Kingborough,” Mayor Winter remarked.
“We have admired what they do in Cygnet for a long time and can see the positive outcomes it is providing for that community.”
Tracey Dillon closed the formalities by acknowledging the guidance and contribution of the community’s Elders, who were then invited to raise the Aboriginal flag at the centre for the first time.
As the flag was raised, Laura Butler read an address in the Melukerdee language, which was conducted in a call and refrain style so those present were able to join in.
Pictured above: Elders, dignitaries and members of the community attended the opening of the new South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation primary health care centre in Kingston Beach on Friday, October 16.