Indigenous Health: FWLHD’s Commitment

The Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) has reaffirmed its commitment to the health and wellbeing of the region’s Aboriginal people by incorporating Aboriginal health into every facet of its operations. With 13 per cent of the region’s population identifying as Aboriginal, the District aims to align its initiatives with the needs of Aboriginal people and their families through partnerships with Aboriginal community-controlled health services.

“Working in a remote area like Broken Hill, our partnerships with our other health care providers really are essential. An important relationship here locally is with Maari Ma Aboriginal Health Corporation. The work they do right across their communities is fantastic,” FWLHD Acting Chair Sally Pearce said.

“There are a whole range of programs we already have in place where we work with our Aboriginal communities. The position we’re at as a board is, we’re at a point where we want to go out to our communities and re-engage with them to find out what their priorities are.

“We want to talk to Aboriginal people and hear where they think we’re delivering services well and where they think there are some gaps and do that in conjunction with our partners, and then work with our partners to see where we can make improvements, where we can make changes to improve the quality of the services we’re able to deliver, and who best is placed to deliver those services.”

As well, the FWLHD is always encouraging Aboriginal people to seek opportunities in healthcare, with some of the District’s highest achievements last year relating to successful programs and accomplishments within Aboriginal health, or by Aboriginal staff members.

“We’ve got a real focus this year as a board on improving Aboriginal healthcare and looking at opportunities for Aboriginal employment within our organisation, both in dedicated positions for Aboriginal people, but more broadly than that, looking at recruitment and career pathways for Aboriginal people right across the suite of positions that are available.

“We have been trying for many years to improve the number of Aboriginal people working in our organisation and we do that to make sure that our organisation and our staff reflect our communities. Across a whole range of areas, we’re keen to ensure that we have people from all backgrounds.”

PICTURE: Indigenous artists Corey Payne and Elisha Mangal pose next to their mural, which is displayed in the emergency department of the Far West Local Health District (FWLHD). BARRIER TRUTH ARCHIVES

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