Cartier Masthead Final Weeks

East Hotel offers respite for families

Amanda Whitley

In July 2008, after enduring six weeks of bed rest at The Canberra Hospital (TCH), I gave birth to my daughter, Sophia, at 30 weeks gestation. Then began a 10-week journey to get her home, and a year of occasional hospital stays when she inevitably fell ill and needed more than the care I could provide at home.

All told, we spent around six months at TCH during that year, meeting countless families who were fighting similar battles to ours. Many of them were not from Canberra: they were from Yass, from Boorowa, from the South Coast, from Wagga Wagga, from Griffith. While my house was five minutes away, where I could retreat for some brief respite if I was desperate, their homes were hours from the hospital.



Yesterday, a new option for these families was announced, with Kingston’s East Hotel partnering with The Canberra Hospital Foundation by offering free, emergency short term accommodation for families and carers of patients. The emergency accommodation is particularly aimed at families who are from interstate and may unexpectedly need to stay overnight, due to injury or illness of a loved one who is being cared for at the Canberra Hospital.


“We are very fortunate to be able to offer a helping hand to families who find themselves in a position where emergency accommodation is required,” said Dan Bisa, owner of East Hotel and Director of Bisa Hotels and Dion Bisa, Assistant General Manager of East Hotel.

“Our goal is to ensure these families are able to concentrate on their loved one, without having to consider the logistics and expense of finding accommodation at a difficult time in their lives.”.

“The generosity of the Bisa family and East Hotel in providing emergency accommodation such as this, is yet another example of the determination of the Canberra community to ease the burden of people who find themselves in an unexpected emergency situation,” said ACT Minister for Health, Simon Corbell.

“This accommodation will allow these families to concentrate on their loved one rather than spending valuable time and expense in finding accommodation.” 


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author