The new $15 million state of the art mental health precinct for veterans will be named in honour of local hero Jamie Larcombe who was killed while on operations in Afghanistan.
Today, Jamie’s parents Steven and Tricia, and three younger sisters Ann-Marie, Emily and April, will visit the Glenside site and plant a Lone Pine tree, which will be the centrepiece of a new memorial garden.
The new purpose built Jamie Larcombe Centre will incorporate an acute inpatient unit, outpatient services, specialist services for post-traumatic stress disorder and teaching and research spaces.
It will also include a gymnasium, group rooms and shared spaces as well as gardens, areas for reflection and more private areas for Veterans to spend time with their families including children.
Supported by world class infrastructure, training, research and leading medical services, the Jamie Larcombe Centre will retain the expertise, dedication, culture and traditions of the existing Ward 17.
As the successful project tender, Schiavello Construction SA will begin work on the Jamie Larcombe Centre next week, creating up to 400 direct or indirect jobs through construction which is expected to be complete in late 2017.
21-year-old Sapper Larcombe was raised on Kangaroo Island and joined the Australian Army in 2008. He was posted to the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment based in Darwin.
Jamie was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp: International Coalition Against Terrorism, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Army Combat Badge.
He was deployed on a humanitarian mission to Indonesia following a major earthquake and Operation Slipper in Afghanistan; where he was tragically killed by a sniper.
Concept plans for the new facility at Glenside Health Service Campus were finalised in April 2016 following detailed consultation with Veterans.
Earlier this year, Veterans had their say on options for names that were developed by the Memorialisation Workgroup, with consultation led by the Veterans Advisory Council.
Quotes attributable to Mental Health Minister Leesa Vlahos
Since 1999 the Australian Defence Force has conducted more than 80,000 deployments and around 3000 servicemen and women live with post traumatic stress.
Earlier this year we consulted widely with veterans groups and representatives and the community about the name of the new health precinct.
This new facility will help to improve mental health care for our veterans and their families.
We need to strengthen our capability to care for young servicemen and women for the next 50 years and help them be productive contributors in the community.
Quotes attributable to Health Minister Jack Snelling
The state-of-the-art facility will provide a far more advanced quality of care for veterans than we can currently offer at the ageing Repatriation General Hospital.
Jamie Larcombe served his country with distinction and made the ultimate sacrifice.
I am proud that this new precinct named in Jamie Larcombe’s honour will serve current and future veterans with outstanding care.
Quotes attributable to the Larcombe family
Jamie’s life ambition was to serve his country and community.
Jamie was a leader and he would be delighted, as we are; that his legacy will live on through a place dedicated to helping other diggers.
Jamie will always be in our thoughts and in our hearts. This is a proud day for the Larcombe family and all of Jamie’s mates.
Quotes attributable to former Commanding Officer of the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, Colonel Matthew Pearse
Jamie’s role as a combat engineer required him to lead from the front. As a Sapper his job was to clear roads of improvised explosive devices and make them safe for the remainder of his combat team. His role epitomised our Regiment's motto of ‘follow the Sapper.’
Jamie was a country-boy and a bit of a larrikin. He maintained a strong connection with his roots on Kangaroo Island and cared deeply for his mates.
We had the privilege of serving with a fine young Australian and are very pleased that this new centre will both honour his service and sacrifice, and support our veterans.