Mr Justin Mohamed, Chair of NACCHO on behalf of its 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health member organisations has congratulated the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation who this month celebrates its 20 year anniversary .
Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation delivers a range of health and community development services to the Indigenous and wider community population across east Gippsland.
Established in 1992, Ramahyuck seeks to be recognised for its innovative approach to meeting community needs through responsive, professional and dedicated services, and through focussing on establishing a viable business enterprise.
Through its health clinics in Sale and Morwell and in collaboration with partners across the greater Gippsland region, Ramahyuck delivers programs aimed at:
- Providing comprehensive primary health care
- Ensuring a holistic approach to health through social and emotional wellbeing programs
- Implementing innovative community enterprise and engagement initiatives
“It has been a long journey for the founders of the organisation, from its beginnings around a lounge room coffee table to a community organisation with branches across Gippsland.”
The original concept for an independent Indigenous corporation in Sale was formed by elder Noel Yarram.
After he passed away, his intentions were discovered by his wife Aunty Bess Yarram and daughter Daphne, as they sorted through his paperwork.
“We found that he had already started to do some leg work on the services that he hoped to put together for the community of Sale…we thought why don’t we follow up and start putting into place what Noel wanted to do,” Aunty Bess recalls.
They called together a committee to establish the organisation and on 12 May 1992 the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation was registered.
Those in the corporation set about the task of securing housing, employment and health services for the local indigenous population, who for many years had to travel to services in Morwell and Bairnsdale.
One of the features of the organisation today is the training provided to members of the Gippsland’s Indigenous community, many of whom have gone on to work for Ramahyuck.
“One of the big things is making our people responsible for running an organisation…we wanted this [corporation] to be supporting itself, we didn’t want to have government agencies giving us money all the time,” Aunty Bess says.
Over the years Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation has incorporated mainstream agencies and extended it’s operations to Morwell, Drouin and Wonthaggi.
“We believe it’s practical reconciliation where indigenous people are serving and the mainstream is being served… we can’t be successful if we stand alone so it’s very important that we build inroads and invite people to join us,” says Dr Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Ramahyuck.