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Community & Business

21 May, 2022

New foundation set for launch

IN honour of Mareeba’s most venerated and well-respected mental health advocates, Dr Mark Bestmann, a new foundation has been born aiming to improve the mental health of the community.

By Rhys Thomas

The Black Cockatoo Foundation has been established by the Mareeba and Communities Family Healthcare, a not-for-profit organisation that has been managing the Mareeba Medical Clinic since May last year. 

With a mental health focus, the new foundation will seek to improve the mental health of the community through trainings, seminars, forums and more. The foundation has already been running mental health and drug awareness programs for the past 12 months. Mareeba and Communities Family Healthcare chair Ross Cardillo said the foundation would specifically focus on mental health and mental health awareness. 

“We want to try and build better mental health in the community through forums, training, seminars and personal experiences that people can work with, so we are all as a community supporting each other,” he said. 

The idea for the Black Cockatoo Foundation was born just under a year ago when Mareeba and Communities Family Healthcare took ownership of the Mareeba Medical Clinic. 

“When we established Mareeba and Communities Family Healthcare, it was decided that the not-for-profit company would be an all-encompassing health services facilitator,” Mr Cardillo said. “One part of it is, we own and run the Mareeba Medical Clinic, and through that we are trying to improve health services, attract doctors to the area, increase allied health and visiting specialists to the area. “Mental health and mental health awareness is such a big issue in not only our community but in Australia, it has been identified that our residents’ mental health needs are greater in this area. “In honour of the Dr Bestmann, we set up this organisation to focus specifically on improving the communities and individual’s mental health.” 

Margie Bestmann said she and her family were extremely proud to have the foundation named after her late husband. 

“I think it’s a wonderful acknowledgement of the contribution that Mark has made to this community as a GP and also as an advocate for mental health and wellbeing,” she said. 

The foundation will be officially launched tonight, Wednesday 18 May, at the Mareeba Health and Wellbeing Forum at the Mareeba International Club. 

Doors open at 5.30pm for a 6.30pm start with an expert panel of local and national and experts in health and wellbeing.

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