BUSHKIDS: Children soak up the sea air during their stay with BUSHkids at Emu Park. BUSHkids has been helping regional Queensland children receive vital medical care for 80 years.
BUSHKIDS: Children soak up the sea air during their stay with BUSHkids at Emu Park. BUSHkids has been helping regional Queensland children receive vital medical care for 80 years.

BUSHkids turn the page on 80 years of health support

A BOOK celebrating BUSHkids' 80 years' of providing health services for regional Queensland children and young people will soon grace bookshelves across the state.

Titled BUSHIES, the book took three years to compile and features interviews with around 50 people including former and current clients, volunteers and staff members of the Royal Queensland Bush Children's Health Scheme.

There are also many historical photographs between the publication's high-quality hard cover.

Since opening in 1935, BUSHkids has provided vital support for about 45,000 rural and regional youngsters with serious medical needs and/or disabilities.

In the early years, children would travel to beachside homes in Maryborough, Redcliffe, Emu Park and Hervey Bay to soak up the healing benefits of salt water and fresh ocean air, receive medical treatment and continue their schooling.

These days, BUSHkids staff are based in offices across Bundaberg, Dalby, Emerald, Mount Isa, Warwick and Inglewood and they provide a range of services including speech pathology, occupational therapy, clinical psychology and family health supports.

BUSHkids chief executive officer Carlton Meyn said the organisation wanted to produce a high-quality publication that would commemorate the service's thousands of clients and its supporters.

"The resulting book is a magnificent testament to the vision of our scheme's founders and the spirit of many generations of Queenslanders who have stayed true to the goal of providing necessary care to rural, remote and regional families despite all the changes and challenges over eight decades,” Mr Meyn said.

BUSHkids council chairman Neil Bartels said the book highlighted the organisation's "amazing threads of continuity, longevity and determination”.

"The BUSHkids of the early 21st Century is very different to that of its formation in the first half of the 20th Century - it had to be, to survive, to remain relevant and continue to serve Queensland families,” Dr Bartels said.

"Reviewing the book has been an eye-opening experience to fully appreciate, perhaps for the first time, just how far we've come, what we've achieved and the many thousands of lives we've touched.”

The book will be revealed by Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey at a special even in Brisbane on Tuesday, December 6.

BUSHIES will then be available for purchase from http://bushkids.org.au/who-we-are/our-history-book-bushies

- ARM NEWSDESK


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