A NEW space at the Port Fairy Hospital will give patients, residents and staff a COVID-safe place to meet and connect.
Moyne Health Services have opened Yoluuk Wallawar - a visitors suite in the Moyneyana House gardens where families and residents can meet behind the safety of a glass wall to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus.
The pandemic has meant visits to the hospital have been restricted.
The suite aims to fill that need while keeping the community safe.
The project was made possible by Mick Hearn of MM Hearn Constructions, who donated the design and construction of the building.
He also sourced donations from a raft of other trades and supplies to support the project.
"This room was specifically designed and built for the purpose of having a meeting room where families and residents could meet during the COVID pandemic but within an isolated controlled area with a glass wall between families and residents," Mr Hearn said online.
MHS board chair Karen Foster praised everyone involved for their "extraordinary" efforts to bring Yoluuk Wallawar to fruition.
"Through the wonderful generosity of MM Hearn Construction, MHS now have a wonderful suite where our residents, families and staff can meet and connect," she said.
"Mick and the team at MM Hearn generously donated the design and construction of the suite, and independently sourced donations from a raft of other trades and supplies to support the project.
"Following discussions with Gunditjmara Elders Uncle Locky Eccles and Uncle Rob Lowe and Mel Steffenson - Uncle Locky's daughter - Yoluuk Wallawar has been chosen as the name of the suite.
"Yoluuk Wallawar represent the Griffiths Island lighthouse and glow projecting across our community.
"We are deeply grateful to Mick and team at MM Hearn Constructions for creating a dedicated, safe space in which to meet and connect with loved ones."
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell praised the initiative.
"They were built in response to last year's lockdowns and visiting restrictions, allowing residents to see their family," she said.
"Local tradies banded together and built the two COVID-safe visiting rooms, donating the lot, from materials to labour.
"What an incredible gesture to allow people to see their loved ones while keeping everyone safe."
Other trades and suppliers who also donated time and materials to complete the project included Brookes Hardware & Timber, Metalpro Engineering, Wannon Communications, Choices Flooring Warrnambool, Critech Plumbing, Merri Aluminium and Warrnambool Rapidmix Concrete.
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