South-west’s most generous giver gets something in return

Geoff Handbury.

DECADES of health care philanthropy by businessman Geoff Handbury will be recognised today with the renaming of a Warrnambool building.

The Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre (WRAD) will be renamed to honour Mr Handbury as well as to reflect its expanded range of medical services.

The Merri Street site will be renamed the Handbury Medical Suites, honouring the Hamilton-based businessman’s philanthropy.

WRAD director Geoff Soma said it was fitting the centre recognised the tremendous efforts of Mr Handbury, who has donated $700,000 to the organisation over the past seven years.

“The support of Geoff Handbury has been greatly appreciated and has been instrumental in helping WRAD to develop its medical services,” he said.

The renaming also reflects the development of general practice services from the centre. The Handbury Medical Suites are also home to psychology and drug and alcohol intake and assessment services.

Mr Soma said the new name was a positive move in the development of the organisation which started three decades ago as a drug and alcohol support service.

“We will be known as the Handbury Medical Suites incorporating WRAD services, psychology services and Australian Community Support Organisation (ACSO) services,” Mr Soma said.

“WRAD no longer correctly describes what happens at the centre. Our services have developed with the support of South West Healthcare and the Deakin School of Medicine who have helped us to provide accessible medical care for those in need.”

The centre, on Merri Street, will soon have four GPs providing bulk-billing services for the general community.

“Over the past seven years medical services have become a permanent and important part of our centre’s operations,” Mr Soma said.

“Many people don’t realise we provide GP services and the new name will be more descriptive of what we do.”

Mr Handbury, who owns and operates the ACE Radio network, has donated millions of dollars to several south-west institutions over the past three decades, including Hamilton Base Hospital, Peter’s Project, Hamilton and Alexandra College, RMIT University and the National Centre for Farmer Health.

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