Gurriny Yealamucka Health and Wellbeing Centre

POD (People Oriented Design) with Coburn Architecture

Gurriny Yealamucka Health and Wellbeing Centre (Gurriny) is a new facility for primary health and community outreach services on Gunggandji Country in the First Nations community of Yarrabah, Queensland. Gurriny Yealamucka means “Good Healing Water” in the language of the Gunggandji Peoples. This narrative is embedded in the design of the new centre, in its response to site, and in design features and elements within the building and landscape.

The project approaches sustainability from a holistic perspective and has been created to acknowledge, respect and respond to its cultural, social and climatic environment. The result is a wellbeing centre that responds to Country and culture, is well designed for the climate and location, and is a non-institutional place designed to support Indigenous models of health care. The centre was designed by People Oriented Design in collaboration with Coburn Architecture, the senior management team of Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service, and Gunggandji elders.

The building has multiple exits and entries to respect local social structures and privacy. It contains welcoming and nurturing reception, waiting and meeting spaces, and integrated artworks by local Indigenous artists that tell ancestral stories about Country and healing. The landscape and outdoor areas include a bush food garden, with endemic plants collected by the Gunggandji Rangers, a yarning circle, flexible connected indoor/outdoor waiting spaces for different families and cultural groups. It has embedded within it, a 20KW solar system, recycled and sustainable materials choices, options for natural ventilation, and a backup generator to ensure the service can continue in extreme climatic events.

Photography by Scott Burrows.