Hummingbird House, under the inspired leadership of Paul and Gabrielle Quilliam, is a children’s hospice being built as a joint initiative of Queensland Kids and Wesley Mission Brisbane. Its purpose is the provision of respite care, end-of-life care and general support to children in Queensland and their families with life-limiting conditions. The hospice will be large enough to accommodate up to eight children and five families at one time.
Courier Mail, a Brisbane Community newspaper reporting on the opening ceremony, quotes Mr Abbott as saying that facilities like Hummingbird House — which will be Australia’s third children’s hospice, were very much needed.
“All life is precious … young life is particularly precious and when those young lives are not as long as we want them to be, they are absolutely special and the most precious things we can imagine,” Mr Abbott said.
“Nearly all of us here are parents and we would all do anything we could for our children and when our children are sick, the best thing we can do for them is give them the very best care in the most loving possible environment and that is what Hummingbird House will do — it is so necessary.”
The news report explains that Federal and State Government funding of $11 million has been secured to meet 50 per cent of capital and operating costs at Hummingbird until 2020, but a further $2 million for capital and a further $1.6 million per annum for ongoing operational expenses needs to be raised.
Also present at the ceremony were Mark and Fiona Engwirda who lost their much-loved daughter, Kate, in 2011 when on a visit to Bear Cottage Hospice in Sydney. The Engwirda’s journey and Kate’s death has been one of the driving forces behind the building of Hummingbird House.