Smoking ceremony paves the way for Westmead’s new hospital building

A traditional Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony has marked the start of construction of Westmead’s new central acute services building.

The Smoking Ceremony, performed by senior Darug man Lex Dadd, was held today (September 8) on the site of the new hospital building, which is due for completion in 2020.

The new central acute services building will link Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and host several adult and paediatric services including two new emergency departments, pharmacy and imaging.

The Smoking Ceremony marked the start of a long-term collaboration between the Westmead Redevelopment project and the local Aboriginal community, which will be reflected in artworks and facilities in the new hospital building.

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Aboriginal Health Management Advisor Lisa Crawford said it was important for Aboriginal people to see their culture reflected in health facilities.

“Embedding an Aboriginal world view into health facilities through construction, planning and design provides an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to feel a welcomed, valued and celebrated population within our community.

“I am proud of Westmead precinct’s ongoing commitment to collaborating and working in close partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members, Elders and communities to ensure the new hospital building is reflective of Aboriginal culture and history on this country.”