NACCHO good story: Healthy result for next generation in Broome WA

Photo by Glenn Cordingly - The Western Australian

Image: Glenn Cordingley

Glenn Cordingley article The West Australian

The daughter of a prominent WA Aboriginal family is the pride of her generation, becoming the first Yawuru Karajarri doctor in Broome.

Kim Isaacs finished 12 years of hard toil on Friday when she passed the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Fellowship exams.

The 34-year-old will work at the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, where she completed her GP training. Dr Isaacs said her family had a strong history in medicine. “I am the first western medicine doctor but my grandfather was a traditional healer,” she said.

Dr Isaacs started her medical degree at the University of WA at a time when there were few indigenous doctors nationally.

“Whether to do medical school was a hard decision to make as I had just finished my bachelor of commerce degree, I was broke and I had a job lined up,” she said.

“The poor health statistics of our mob and the small workforce of indigenous health professionals was enough to convince me I wanted to help make a difference, so I signed up.”

Dr Isaacs said she was passionate about child health.

“Our mob trust us, we work at a grassroots level and know what the health issues are facing our community,” she said.

Dr Isaacs’ mother Theresa has worked for the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service for 35 years.