Sanctuary ELA to operate new service in innovative Gold Coast children with complex needs precinct development
Construction has commenced on an $80 million children’s health and education centre of excellence on Queensland’s Gold Coast, with early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure a founding tenant.
The Proxima development will be located within Lumina, the Queensland Government’s 9.5 hectare development dedicated to growing the life sciences, health and technology-related businesses within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles and Minister for the Environment, Great Barrier Reef, Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon were on site to turn the first sod yesterday, marking an important milestone in the life of the project.
“This is an Australian-first, an early learning centre with in-house access to allied paediatric health and research professionals,” Mr Miles explained.
Along with Proxima, the Queensland Government has finalised land sales to Griffith University for its Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies (ADaPT) Institute, and an integrated residential aged care and key worker training facility. Four further sites are under commercial in-confidence negotiations.
“Innovation within the health and knowledge sectors is exactly why this precinct was established, and it’s great to see it coming to fruition,” Ms Scanlon said.
Sanctuary Co-Founder Damian Hall outlined that the new state-of-the-art Sanctuary ELA service would cater for up to 400 children and would have their own specialists embedded within the centre.
“Pioneering this unique collaboration of early education, health and research will provide a platform to develop Australia’s very best inclusive early education program,” Mr Hall said.
“Proxima will help relieve more of the pressure on parents also as it will eliminate most excess travel involved in transporting their children to and from medical appointments.”
Griffith University Vice Chancellor Carolyn Evans said the university was excited about the inclusion of a service such as Sanctuary in the overall project, something she described as a move which will foster further collaboration between education, health, research and childhood development.
“The co-location of Griffith and Sanctuary in the Proxima building is the perfect basis on which to establish a centre of excellence in inclusive early childhood education: a place in which every child can grow and learn together,” she said.
“The centre brings together interdisciplinary teams across Griffith’s Allied Health disciplines and Early Childhood Education to embed a model of research-integrated inclusive childcare education.”
Her perspective was shared by Ian Langdon, Chair of the Gold Coast Hospital, who said the Australian-first early learning and allied health collaborative business model is “an exciting initiative that’s great for the Gold Coast, the state of Queensland, and most importantly, children with special needs.”
“With everything we know today about the success of early intervention programs for children, I look forward to the day that businesses such as this become the new standard.”