Mitsubishi Development announces largest Australian partnership - Wesley Research Institute
Wesley Research Institute

On Thursday 6 July Wesley Research Institute and Mitsubishi Development signed a new partnership, the largest for Mitsubishi Development in Australia, which will provide significant funding for Navicare over the next two years.

Mitsubishi Development has played a unique part in the almost 30-year history of Wesley Research Institute, Queensland’s second oldest medical research organisation, having contributed to the organisation every year since it was established in 1994.

This support has included the Mitsubishi Development Rural and Remote Health Centre established in 2009. The Centre was established in recognition of the significant challenges in dealing with rural and remote health in Australia, challenges that are particularly evident in Queensland due to the greater decentralisation than most other states.

Australians living in rural and remote areas, such as those where Mitsubishi Development’s BMA operations are located, have higher rates of health risk factors, lower access to health services such as GP’s and mental health support and high rates of death due to chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease, compared with their metropolitan counterparts.

Sadly, suicide rates are almost double in rural and remote areas as compared with the rest of Australia. Access to primary, acute and specialist care is limited in rural areas, and distance, cost, stigma and lack of healthcare professionals all act as barriers to receiving good quality mental health care.

Mitsubishi Development’s founding sponsorship of the centre recognises the company’s social and economic contribution to regional Queensland as an energy resource producer and its commitment to the community in Central Queensland. Since its development, the Centre has helped thousands of Australians, particularly those in mining communities, through direct and indirect initiatives.

The Isaac Navicare service was officially launched on 9 November 2021 at the Moranbah Youth and Community Centre. Navicare facilitates access to timely, appropriate and affordable mental health care for rural and remote Queenslanders. The Isaac Navicare service was co-designed and its impact on improving mental health within the community is being felt.

Mitsubishi Development is the founding partner of Navicare and without this funding, this important mental health project would not have been realised. There is a strong commitment from the community, service providers, government and local businesses in the Bowen Basin region to improve the mental health of the community.


Front: Mitsubishi Development CEO, Kenichiro Tauchi and Wesley Research Institute CEO, Andrew Barron;
Back (L-R): MDP Head of Corporation and Administration, Sonia Lewis, Chairman of Wesley Research Institute, Charlie Sartain, and MDP Senior Vice President and Head of Metallurgical Coal Division, Yasutaka Okamoto.
"Mitsubishi Development has a vested interest in the health of the Bowen Basin rural community, and we are grateful to have their support not just for the Navicare program but since our inception from 1994. It’s through corporate partnerships like this we can develop robust research which has positive social impact."
Andrew Barron, CEO Wesley Research Institute

The Navicare program has also enabled further research through ‘The Bridging Study’, a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project (ID2018981) announced in December 2022.  This study, led by Queensland University of Technology with Wesley Research Institute as an official partner, will look to expand Navicare services into three additional Bowen Basin communities.  The project is also partnering with Beyond Blue, Isaac Regional Council, Greater Whitsundays Communities, mental health care providers and Bowen Basin communities.

A lady on the phone looking out from a balcony window
"We were devastated when we were told my daughter had to wait over a year to see a psychiatrist, and there was no other mental health supports in the meantime. She didn’t cope well and began self-harming. Without Navicare, we would still be waiting for my daughter to access a single mental health support"
Linda parent to a 15 year old help-seeker
Navicare supporters
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