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Local Indigenous elders and artists perform naming ceremony and blessing for cancer treatment machine

NAIDOC Week 2021

Bundaberg, Queensland – In celebration of NAIDOC week, local Indigenous elders and artists are gathering at GenesisCare in Bundaberg to officially unveil a new radiation therapy treatment machine with a naming ceremony.

To celebrate Bundaberg’s rich Indigenous culture, GenesisCare commissioned Indigenous artist Byron Broome to create a series of paintings, titled Burral the Creator, for the patient wait area.

The new treatment machine, the Elekta Versa HD linear accelerator, has significantly increased the centres capacity to treat local cancer patients using stereotactic body radiation therapy (SABR), a new highly targeted treatment that targets tumours in fewer high dose treatments than traditional therapy.

Since launching the machine GenesisCare has been able to treat up to 80 patients a day with minimal wait lists, providing local cancer patients with rapid access to the latest treatments and techniques.

Lyn Tate, Centre Leader, GenesisCare Bundaberg, said: “NAIDOC week is an important reminder for us all to live our values of cultural inclusivity and diversity in everything that we do at GenesisCare and also in our private lives.”

“The Bundaberg region and surrounds has a rich Indigenous culture and here at GenesisCare we have always endeavoured to partner with the local Indigenous community to develop culturally inclusive care for our patients.”

“Some of the ways we celebrate Indigenous culture here at GenesisCare is through our beautiful artwork and also by naming both our treatment machines after local Indigenous areas of significance. Many of our patients comment on the artwork and the joy it brings them during what is otherwise a very difficult period in their lives.”

“We are delighted to be joined by Byron and his wife Nikki, as well as local Indigenous elders, to unveil the name of our new machine, which is named Mee-Bar Miggi, which represents the spirit of the salt-water turtle. This ties in with the name of our first machine, Mon Repos, which is named after the breeding area for our local turtles here in Bundaberg.”

The Burral the Creator paintings represent the heritage of Burral the Creator and the four different elements of heaven and earth; wind, rock, water and fire.

Chris David, Unit Leader, GenesisCare Bundaberg, said: “We began treating patients on our new machine earlier in the year and it has already made such a significant difference in terms of our wait lists and being able to rapidly plan and treat our patients.”

“When a patient receives a cancer diagnosis the last thing they want is to have to potentially wait weeks for treatment and it can definitely amplify feelings of anxiety and concern.”

“Our second treatment machine will allow us to expand our stereotactic program to include more tumour streams, meaning patients no longer need to travel to Brisbane or another metropolitan area to access the latest treatments and techniques.”