Katungul Aboriginal Medical Service has a new chief executive officer based in Narooma NSW and an ambitious new direction and focus.
Rob Skeen took over late last year after an extensive search for the most qualified and experienced CEO and already has big plans ahead for the service that currently has facilities in Batemans Bay, Narooma and Bega.
“We aim to be a one-stop shop for our people both on the clinical and non-clinical side of health,” Mr Skeen said. “We need to lift the profile of the service and we need to talk about the successes that have been happening since the dark days.”
The corporation’s footprint actually extends all the way from Ulladulla down to the Victorian border and out west to Cooma and past the ACT.
Mr Skeen said serving the Eden Aboriginal population was an immediate need and the next priority would be to open an outreach service at the location before spreading west and north.
Katungul board member Wally Stewart said he was excited about the new direction for the medical service and one challenge was to overcome any biases and prejudices in the community after a rough few years, including the organisation going into administration.
But there was a new focus on the board, which was taking advice from external experts including former Eurobodalla mayor Lindsay Brown and the former CEO of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Graham Peachey, who also lives in Narooma.
“It’s all about breaking down and shattering the barriers,” Mr Stewart said. “People still have ideas about what we were in the past and they don’t know a lot has changed.”
Mr Stewart said Katungul was the largest employer of Aboriginal people on the Far South Coast with around 80 per cent of its 52 workers being indigenous, and he said it was great to have an “honorary Koori” and indigenous person as the CEO, referring to the fact he was a Murray but had moved to Koori country on the South Coast.
“Our logo is Koori health in Koori hands and that is what it’s all about,” he said.
A Murri man originally from Queensland, Mr Skeen was headhunted by the board and comes from a background of working in Aboriginal health for Queensland Health, as well as the Northern Territory and NSW.
He also worked for the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, where he was involved in sector reform and Aboriginal health service regionalisation.
The Katungul service has just been audited by Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and passed with flying colours, Mr Skeen said.
Each Katungul health centre has a GP, registered nurse and Aboriginal health practitioners, qualified with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
The mobile dental clinic will begin operating in February and the service was also about to start a series of health campaigns starting with a Healthy Heart Week.
Katungul will also begin hosting a series of community consultations throughout the year to give the community the opportunity to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their health services, Mr Skeen said.
NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .
Publish date 6 April 2017
Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.
While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.
NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.
Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers
Contact : Colin Cowell Editor
Mobile : 0401 331 251
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org