Facilities Manager Michael Reimann joined Wuchopperen in 2009 and has overseen all recent structural developments of the health service, including the newly renovated Savannah House (Family and Child Wellbeing centre at Manoora), and reflects on how it has grown in recent years and what the organisation means to him.
“When I first joined Wuchopperen we would put up a circus tent for community events next to Rainforest building which was a grass area towards the creek and I would work with my team to mark out parking spaces in white paint in the Moody Street field. That’s when there was no Bama House and carpark, that was a caretaker’s house back then,” said Michael.
Michael is from St Paul’s in the Torres Strait and is proud to be part of the Wuchopperen team.
“Wuchopperen was started by people with vision,” said Michael. “The health service came to the needs of community when they were struggling to be seen at the hospital. By having a home like this in Manoora, Wuchoppperen has created a place for all our community members to come.
“I built houses throughout the Torres Strait before moving to Cairns and starting my role at Wuchopperen. My team’s role and everything we do is to deliver a better holistic health service. Building upgrades mean better outcomes for everyone who uses the services. Our people and community deserve the best.”
“The first job I applied for, and my first job on the mainland, was the one I’m in now and I’ll be here for a while yet.
“My family home is close to the beach at St. Paul’s – and it’s calling me – but for the moment my children and grandchildren are here in Cairns. I see them regularly when I’m not at work – but I often see them at Wuchopperen when they come for health checks or appointments. That’s what Wuchopperen means to me; it’s for family, for all our families.”
Over the eleven years Michael has been Facilities Manager he has overseen the opening of various buildings including Bama House – a corporate building in Manoora, Coral Cay – a Women’s, Child and Maternal Clinic in Manoora, the Children and Family Centre in Manoora and the Edmonton clinic. He has also been part of major renovations for Bama House, Reef Clinic and Rainforest Clinic in Manoora, and most recently renovations and upgrades to Savannah House, the Family and Child Wellbeing centre. Future plans for the Manoora site include upgrading all footpaths to be undercover and an expansion of seating for bus services.
In 2021, Michael was also heavily involved in Wuchopperen’s Youth Traineeship program where he managed and mentored Brandon, a Facilities Trainee, to gain on the job experience and a qualification. The traineeship program aims to empower youth in the community and to help grow our future generations.
“We are very fortunate to have Michael as part of the Wuchopperen team, and we’d like to sincerely thank him for all he has done in improving the quality of life for our community,” said Dania Ahwang, CEO Wuchopperen.