Healthy turn-out at new expo

Danita Potter & Margie Hams. Picture: Julian Lehnert 259027_01

by Julian Lehnert

Residents of the region enjoyed the opportunity to meet their healthcare providers face-to-face last week, as 55 exhibitors set up stalls, booths and displays in Kingaroy’s Town Hall for the inaugural South Burnett Health and Community Services Expo on 18 and 19 November.

Businesses and services came out in force to the expo, with fields like mental health, hearing support, heart health and fitness making up just some of the dozens of stalls at the expansive, two-day event.

With the recent rains and flood season well underway, visitors could also meet with their local emergency services to catch up on their disaster preparation plans.

The Darling Downs Health Service operated a pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the event, allowing attendees to receive their first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Margie Hams, the youth mental health coordinator at South Burnett Regional Council, who set up the event, said she was over the moon with the turn-out, reception and future potential of the expo.

“The idea of this is that, in a community like this, we often hear people say that they don’t know what services are available,” Ms Hams said.

“We want to give the community an opportunity to explore and to engage with some of our local services – things that are already here in place in the South Burnett.

“Having the services meet each other has been really amazing as well, as often they don’t know about each other, either!” she added.

The South Burnett Health and Community Services Expo comes as Ms Hams’ first major project in her role at Council, with plans already underway to make it a yearly cornerstone of the region’s event calendar.

“We had a meet and greet [on Thursday night] where we had some health professionals come along and meet with the businesses; there were 70 people there all up,” Ms Hams said.

“It’s been a really lovely couple of days.”