New precinct marks new era of care for veterans

Source: Hon Peter Malinauskas MLC, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith MP, Minister for Veterans' Affairs

The Jamie Larcombe Centre, a new $15 million veterans’ mental health precinct located at Glenside Health Service Campus, will officially be opened today, marking a new era for South Australian veterans receiving specialist mental health care.

The Centre includes an ambulatory service incorporating outpatient treatment areas and a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) service, 24 single rooms with private ensuites, consulting rooms, a gymnasium, research spaces and a partnerships hub providing veterans with access to information about support services from ex-service organisations on-site.

Final building fit out and landscaping will occur over the coming weeks, with services transitioning from the Repatriation General Hospital to the Jamie Larcombe Centre in November 2017.


The Centre is named in honour of Sapper Jamie Ronald Larcombe, who was born in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island and was killed in action on 19 February 2011 during a deployment to Afghanistan.

Last year his parents and three sisters planted a Lone Pine tree at the site of the new building, which is the centrepiece of a new memorial garden.

The new Centre includes:

  • A purpose built, contemporary mental health unit incorporating ward and outpatient areas along with courtyard and garden areas designed to facilitate recovery. The new precinct has seven gardens, six more than currently available.
  • Library, communal lounge rooms, private family rooms and a children’s playground for visiting families to enjoy.
  • Co-location of clinical services with a teaching and research hub.
  • In ward tele-psychiatry facilities, enabling veterans from country areas to access psychiatry services closer to home.
  • Designated separate inpatient areas for vulnerable groups.
  • Electro convulsive therapy (ECT) provided on the Glenside Health Service Campus.
  • Access to PTSD services for veterans, police and emergency services personnel, acknowledging that they have unique treatment needs as a result of their service.
  • Drug and Alcohol Services SA are also co-located at Glenside Health Service Campus.

Quotes attributable to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Minister Peter Malinauskas

Today we begin a new era of providing enhanced care for veterans in this state.

Ward 17 at the Repatriation General Hospital has a strong history of providing high quality care and support to veterans and their families and this same care will be provided at the new Jamie Larcombe Centre, backed up by vastly improved facilities which will help to support recovery.

The Jamie Larcombe Centre will be a centre of excellence in mental health research and education, incorporating an acute inpatient unit, outpatient services and specialist services for Post-traumatic stress disorder.

I am proud to unveil this outstanding facility today as we continue to put our local ex-serving men and women at the forefront of modernising our healthcare system.

Quotes attributable to Veterans’ Affairs Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

Veterans deserve world-class health care that not only meets their needs but truly honours the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made for our country.

From today, our brave ex-serving men and women will have access to what they deserve – 21st Century, modern health care facilities integrated with teaching, research and clinical care to ensure they have the best support possible on their road to recovery.

There is no doubt that this vast improvement in infrastructure and enhanced specialist services will strengthen our systems’ capability to care for ex-serving people into the future, improving their quality of life and helping them to be productive contributors in the community.

Quotes attributable to Dr Taryn Cowain, Clinical Unit Head and Senior Psychiatrist, Jamie Larcombe Centre, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network

Today, staff and patients from Ward 17 embark on a new chapter. As we say farewell to the Repatriation General Hospital, we start the relocation to our new centre – a wonderful, purpose-built facility that has veterans at the heart of its model of care.

Staff, patients and members from veteran organisations have been working hard to ensure we retain the history, culture and healing ambiance of Ward 17 in our move to the new centre.

Our new facility is built upon extensive research on the best way to build a unit sensitive to the needs of all veterans and serving members with mental health challenges, women and men, those with children and those benefitting from service dogs. We are looking forward to getting settled and continuing to deliver vital services to patients into the future.