The Balmoral community marks 90
years of bush nursing.
The first Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre was built in 1925 by volunteers with material donated by district benefactors.
It was staffed by a lone bush nurse who was expected to be on duty every day.
That first year, her workload included 447 visits, 81 days in residence caring for the ill and 10 all-night maternity cases.
Ninety years later, the community continues to work hard for their centre.
But the Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre is no longer isolated as it partners with more than 30 organisations.
The lone nurse model has evolved to a service of remote area nurses, visiting doctors, and telehealth.
It is an adaptable health model that sources health care providers based on community need.
Current visiting providers include a podiatrist, psychologist, diabetes educator and maternal and child health nurse.
And the centre is the only one in Victoria to offer an onsite purpose-built childcare facility through a partnership with Wimmera Uniting Care.
‘The bush nursing centre of 2015 is much more about prevention, advocacy, community support and an infrastructure that makes the community feel safe,’ said Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre Manager Lisa Hutchins.
Department of Health and Human Services Barwon South Western Region Director Maree Roberts joined Ms Hutchins, Board President Neville Trotman and locals to celebrate 90 years of bush nursing in Balmoral.
The celebration included the unveiling of a sister/nurse manager/centre manager honour board.
‘The achievements of the BBNC were certainly on show and they are a great example of the types of services which support communities to thrive across rural Victoria,’ Ms Roberts said.