Dr Pretissha Harrichund and Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.
Dr Pretissha Harrichund and Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.

Ceremony marks new beginnings for Bundy health hub

WITH her passion for health care and inclusivity at the heart of her new medical centre, Dr Pretissha Harrichund organised a smoking ceremony at the site before construction began to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land.

After 18 months of planning, Dr Harrichund’s vision of a centre with a holistic and all-encompassing approach to health is finally coming to fruition.

Having worked in both the private and public sector, Dr Harrichund said she has been about to identify gaps in care and rather than wait for someone to fix the problem, she’s going to do it herself.

Dr Pretissha Harrichund and Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.
Dr Pretissha Harrichund and Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.

She said the project was going to cost more than $1 million and, while that is daunting, to sit back and do nothing wasn’t an option.

“I know that we can do more, I know that we can offer our community more,” she said. “And I’m tired of standing on the sidelines waiting for that to happen, so I’m going to start it.”

Dr Pretissha Harrichund and Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.
Dr Pretissha Harrichund and Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.

By building this centre, Dr Harrichund wants to allow a seamless model of care for patients, which will be a specialist driven, holistic model of care, incorporating allied health all under one roof.

“The whole point of this is that I think medicine is seen as very much compartmentalised treatment regimens and I want to employ a holistic model of care so that we address all aspects of healing,” she said.

“Which would be medical, psychological, emotional, spiritual — so that people don’t slip through the cracks.”

Throughout her career, Dr Harrichund said often politics and ego could impact medical health delivery and she hopes to make this centre “100 per cent patient focused”.

In planning for the new centre, she said the site had to be near the hospitals where she does her admissions, Friendly Society Private Hospital and Mater Hospital, and the site on Branyan St is just what the doctor ordered.

Dr Pretissha Harrichund and Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.
Dr Pretissha Harrichund and Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.

Set to be built by Jeff Lennox Builder, the development, Dr Harrichund said, would be in two stages.

“There will be two floors, the first floor is meant to be geared to allied health,” she said.

“There’s a pool, gym and consulting rooms available for allied health.”

Dr Harrichund said the first stage was expected to be completed in six months.

Holding a gathering for the smoking ceremony on Thursday, she said it was important to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land.

Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.
Everett Johnson at the Smoking Ceremony on the new medical site in Branyan Street.

Everett Johnson said it was a pleasure to be invited to the site to perform the smoking ceremony and an honour to represent his heritage in today’s society as a traditional owner.

He said a smoking ceremony was a blessing to country and used to bring in the good spirits.

Dr Harrichund said she was grateful for Mr Johnson’s time and ceremony because now it felt as though she had honoured the traditional owners of the land.

As a single mother, undertaking this venture on her own, Dr Harrichund said if she can do it, “we call can”.

“I hope to inspire other entrepreneurs to give it ago,” she said.

While she has something in mind, the new medical centre’s name will be a secret until there is a building.



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