A milestone moment for Australia's veteran community
Fussell House officially opened at Concord Hospital.
The parents of an Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan have for the first time visited Fussell House, accommodation for veterans and their families based at Concord Hospital, that's been named in honour of their son.
Ken and Madeline Fussell joined Federal MP Dr Fiona Martin, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Veterans James Griffin, veterans groups and supporters for the official opening of Fussell House.
25-year-old Lieutenant Michael Fussell was killed in action by an Improvised Explosive Device while serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan in 2008.
Fussell House is a 19-room residential accommodation facility funded by a $6.7 million investment from the Federal Government. It's available for veterans and their families when accessing comprehensive healthcare services at the world-class National Centre for Veterans' Healthcare, located in the hospital grounds.
Ken and Madeline, who live on the NSW north coast, stayed at Fussell House, met the National Centre for Veterans' Healthcare team and toured the Centre's clinic space in a new building under construction as part of the redevelopment of the hospital.
"We're so excited about the difference this is going to make for a new generation of veterans because nothing like this has ever been on offer before," Madeline said.
The facility was launched as Concord Hospital prepares to celebrate 80 years of delivering healthcare services for veterans and the community.
"The National Centre for Veterans' Healthcare offers Australia's first model of providing care in a holistic, integrated healthcare setting across physical, mental and social care for our veterans in a true one-stop-shop," Dr Teresa Anderson, Sydney Local Health District's Chief Executive, said.
The NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Veterans James Griffin described the opening of Fussell House as "a milestone moment" for the veteran community.
"Fussell House shines a bright light on what I think will be an increasingly challenging time for veterans in our community. It's been a long time coming. We hope this is an appropriate legacy for Michael and I'm sure we all agree, the support and services that will be delivered is something we can all be incredibly proud of," Mr Griffin said.
Madeline said her son would be "embarrassed in some ways but also very chuffed" that the accommodation facility had been named after him.
"For someone like himself, who was all about mates and friendship, that his name is on something that is going to benefit people he worked with, and other people in the Defence, for generations to come," Madeline said.