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Minister Martin Foley MP launches new specialist mental health service

Date: 01/05/2017

On Wednesday 26 April, the Hon Martin Foley MP, Minister for Mental Health, launched a new specialist mental health service being introduced at the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub in Brunswick.

Other special guests at the event included:

  • Hon Jane Garrett MP, State Member for Brunswick
  • Paris Aristotle AM, 2017 Victorian Australian of the Year and CEO of Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture
  • Cr Samantha Ratnam, Deputy Mayor of Moreland
  • Richard Rogers, Chair of the Cabrini Health Board
  • Professor Suresh Sundram, Advisor to the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub

A new aspect of care and services at the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub, the new specialist mental health service will provide a wrap-around service including case-management and community outreach.

“Our vision is to meet the significant and growing need in the community for extremely vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers who may fall through the gaps or are unable to access to mainstream services,” said Cath Garner, Cabrini’s Executive Director of Mission and Strategy.

Dr Tram Nguyen has been appointed Director of the Specialist Mental Health Service and Cabrini is currently working to recruit a mental health nurse and social worker to the team.

The specialist mental health service was launched 12 months almost to the day since the opening of the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub by then-Mayor of Moreland Cr Samantha Ratnam.

The Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub is providing a much needed service in Melbourne’s inner north filling the gap in healthcare faced by asylum seekers and refugees when they arrive in Australia without income or access to Medicare. Since June 2016, Cabrini has provided medical care to 140 asylum seekers and refugees who have come to Australia from countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia.

The Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub is a member of a number of asylum seeker and refugee health and settlement networks, both in the region and statewide. The Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub may be contacted on ph (03) 8388 7874.


Cabrini is a Catholic, charitable institution sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which provides health and health-related services in Australia. Founded in 1948, Cabrini’s services in Australia span aged care, cancer care, cardiac services, emergency medicine, health promotion, home/community-based care, maternity services, paediatric care, palliative care, primary care, rehabilitation, research and education, as well as social and community outreach services.

Media information: contact Christine Elmer ph (03) 9508 1216 or 0459 811 693, Cabrini marketing and community relations department.