In honour of Rosemary Aitken, a founding member of our community health service who served as a volunteer on the Board of Directors for 42 years, we officially named our building at 917 Main Road Eltham the Rosemary Aitken Building.

At a celebration event held on 27 November, a plaque was unveiled by former Federal Member of Parliament, Jenny Macklin, who had a long working relationship with Rosemary.

“I’ve always been impressed by her unconditional commitment, leadership and vision to ensure people in Nillumbik, especially those more vulnerable, have access to health and welfare services,” says Jenny.

In October 1975 Rosemary was instrumental in developing and being awarded a Commonwealth Government grant to establish a Community Health Centre. The Community Health Centre was known then as Eltham Community Health Service, subsequently Nillumbik Health and now healthAbility and Healthy Bite Dental. No matter the name, our Service exists to improve the health and wellbeing of people across all ages and abilities.

The Community Health Centre began with a grant for two staff, growing to over 164 staff servicing 9,801 clients in 2018, the last year of Rosemary’s tenure. This growth is testimony to her humble enthusiasm, passion and drive.

Rosemary served on the Advisory Board and Board of Management since its inception, having commenced her volunteer role as Secretary of the organisation, and being appointed President of the Board in 1988, a position which she remained in for 16 years until 2004. Rosemary continued her voluntary service until June 2018.

Many people in our community may not know of Rosemary – she is an unspoken hero who, over 42 years, actively and unselfishly gave her time to improving their health and wellbeing. The naming of the Rosemary Aitken Building is a fitting and deserved honour.