Keeping You Up to Date on Our New Office Project
Anticipated Completion Date: Mid-2013
Phase 4: Building Tenders
With the lease signed Tenders were called for the construction of the building. We are pleased to say that the successful tenders have been awarded.
The successful companies are now awaiting the green light to commence construction.
Phase 3: Lease Agreement
The relevant State and Federal government departments have now finalised the Lease Agreement which has been signed by all parties involved.
Phase 2: Notification of Successful Grant Application
Press Release: May 6th 2011
The Mental Illness Fellowship of North Queensland (MIFNQ) was pleased yesterday to accept $1.65 million from the Minister for Health and Aging, Nicola Roxon towards the construction and fit out of a new home for the fellowship.
The addition of these funds to a previous grant of $500,000 from the Queensland government and the generous donation of land from the Townsville Health Service District now make it possible for us to create a non-government, community mental health facility that Townsville and North Queensland deserves and desperately needs.
Andy Froggatt, CEO of MIFNQ says that: “This will allow the fellowship to create a wonderful new home for our services with facilities that will allow us to better support other community organisations and recruit and retain staff. It also means we will have ‘cutting edge’ technology that will help us support isolated individuals and families across rural and remote North and Far North Queensland.”
With this being part of a range of new commonwealth mental health announcements, alongside recent announcements by the new Queensland Minister for Mental Health, Curtis Pitt, MIFNQ hope that we are now seeing government properly value the place of good mental health in our community.
President of MIFNQ, Mr Bob James says that: “Despite 15 years of ‘mental health reform’, Australia still only spends 7% of its health dollar on mental health, compared to 13-14% in most western countries. We hope that this is the beginning of real investment in the community mental health sector.”
MIFNQ’s successful tender would not have been possible without the support of the North Queensland community. Local individuals and companies have provided substantive pro bono services in developing initial designs and costings, as well as offering services at heavily discounted rates.
Andy Froggatt, CEO of MIFNQ says that: “The response and generosity of the community has been staggering and we are deeply grateful to them. There are too many people to thank personally, but we would like to mention local architect, Mr Ken Tippett, who has done all of the initial design work and coordinated initial tenders at no cost to the fellowship. His commitment has been fantastic and exemplifies what ‘real’ community is all about.”
Phase 1: The Grant
In late 2010, MIFNQ became aware of the Health and Hospitals Reform Regional Priority Funding Round after discussions held with Senator Jan McLucas. MIFNQ's need for larger premises appeared to sit strongly within the funding guidelines for a number of reasons including:
- strong partnerships with state mental health services
- existing partnerships for land and a portion of capital funding
- the building would serve as a base for various self-help groups in the communit
- the co-location with Queensland Health mental health services would enhance our current partnerships
This Funding round had a closing date of 3 December 2010. With extensive assistance from our architect Ken Tippett, the support of other organisations, local, state and federal politicians along with the tireless work of our staff, we were able to put together an application by the closing date.
Current Head Office
Our current office was purchased in the mid-1990's.
We have slowly and steadily been expanding the working area of the building to accommodate us by extending the enclosed ground floor area and enclosing the patio area upstairs.
In the mid 2000's we bought in a demountable building to house one of our departments, not an ideal solution but as we had outgrown the allowable floor space for the block it was the only thing left to do.