May 11
Preventing seclusion and restraint

Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is committed to preventing the use of seclusion and restraint and welcomes consumer, carer and family involvement.  

To become a partner in this work, please contact WNSWLHD Director Integrated Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol, Jason Crisp on (02) 6369 8874.

Oct 05
Learn And Grow' During Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month is a national mental health campaign coordinated every October by the Mental Health Association of NSW to promote good mental health and wellbeing in our local communities. 

Western NSW Local Health District’s Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol (MHDA) Services are working in partnership with the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, TAFE NSW Western Orange and  Bathurst Colleges, Central West Libraries, and various non-government organisations to host a number of activities with the theme for 2016 being ‘Learn and Grow’.

Director Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol Services, Jason Crisp said October is promising to be a busy month with planned activities to be delivered right across the region.

“Approximately 45% of Australians will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, and those that don’t will most likely know someone that does,” Mr Crisp said.

“Mental health issues will affect one in five Australians every year. Anxiety disorders are often the most common mental health challenges, followed by depression.”

“This year’s theme aims to increase knowledge of mental health in our communities so we can reduce preconceived views that people have about mental illness.”

There are a number of activities planned for October, including the annual Central West Pride March, floral arrangement workshops, ceramics workshops, drumming workshops, photography exhibitions, Mental Health First Aid training, ‘Tackling Mental Health’ expos and mental health information stalls at community events.

Information stalls at the TAFE NSW Western Bathurst Campus on 12October, Dubbo Farmers Markets on 15October and TAFE NSW Western Orange Campus on 19October aim to raise mental health awareness, with brochures and information about mental illness and local mental health services available.

“People should take the time during October to take time out to explore local surroundings, keep physically active, aim to have more sleep and to reach out before things get tough,” Mr Crisp said.

“We hope that Mental Health Month reminds people to do things that help improve mental health, and to carry on these behaviours once the Month is over.”

“Mental Health Month creates an opportunity for people to look at how they are feeling and focus on ways to enhance their social and emotional wellbeing, thereby building their personal resilience and support networks,” he said.

For more information about local activities and events during Mental Health Month, please click on the calendar and event flyer links below, or the Way Ahead website .

Anyone with concerns about their mental health or the mental health of a family member or loved one should call the Mental Health Line on free call 1800 011 511 or contact their General Practitioner (GP).


Mental Health Month Calendars:

 -  For Western NSW Local Health District

For Dubbo & Region


Event Flyers:

 -  Outback Drumming, free October workshops.

 -  Ceramic workshops

 -  Pinch & Press workshops

 -  Mental Health first aid training course - for service providers

 -  Mental Health first aid training course - for the general public

 -  Floral arrangements workshop - for carers

 -  Floral arrangements workshops - for the general public ​​

Jul 25
Trip Planner

The Trip Planner is a pocket/wallet sized guide which provides a wealth of information on options for how to access Orange, Lithgow and Sydney for 'Health and Medical Travel using Public Transport from Bathurst'. The first edition was developed in 2014 by Bathurst Health Council in collaboration with Bathurst Community Transport. The revised 2016 edition has been funded by Western NSW Local Health District.​

2016 Trip Planner v6.pdf

Apr 16
Bourke Maternity
To ensure a safe and sustainable model of care for both mother and baby, Bourke women should receive all ante-natal care from 38 weeks by Dubbo maternity services until the birth of their baby at Dubbo Hospital. 

Enjoying the new Dubbo maternity rooms

Kristy Knight and Samara Milgate have shared their experiences in giving birth in Dubbo’s new maternity unit. Samara pictured with baby Clara Ruby described her experience in Dubbo as great. “I found the staff very helpful and friendly and loved being able to have my family with me in the single room” she said. Samara stayed in one of the recommended motels for IPTAAS (Isolated Patient Transport and Accommodation Assistance Scheme) and was appreciative of the help from Aboriginal Health Worker Kelly Lienish AMIHS (Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Strategy) and the lady from IPTTAS who helped complete the forms. 

Kristy pictured with baby Jackson summed up her experience as “so pleasant”. Kristy had her previous babies in the old maternity unit at Dubbo and loved that fact that at the new maternity area she had her own room and could have her family with her. Kristy found the staff very supportive and friendly and said they were responsive to her needs and encouraging of her desire to breastfeed. Kristy was not aware of the accommodation assistance options that were available and had made her own motel arrangements. “If I had known about the recommended motels and IPTAAS I would have used them” Kristy said.​

Progress on the family garden 

Last year Bourke Health Service started work on designing a family garden. The garden plan has been drawn and Health Service Manager Pat Canty will be talking to women and families for their feedback about the garden design.

See us on YouTube 

Western NSW Local Health District has a clip on YouTube about the new Dubbo Maternity Unit. Search WNSW LHD on YouTube or click on this link to view it 

Did you know

Some motels in Dubbo have partnered with IPTAAS to provide bulk billing accommodation for expectant mothers from Bourke who have to temporarily locate to Dubbo before their baby is born. The Bourke Community Health and the AMIHS team can help you with organising this accommodation. Contact the Bourke Community Health Centre for more information on 6870 8883 .​

Dec 16
A Welcoming Place – Turning the First Sod for Bourke Health Service Family Garden

Last week community elder Heather Mieni and mum-to-be Juanita Knight joined together with Western NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Scott McLachlan to turn the first sod for the Bourke Health Service family garden.

The purpose of the g​arden will be to provide a peaceful setting for all families when visiting the mum and meeting the new baby.

Scott McLachlan said in the Health District community consultations over the past year it was highlighted by the community the importance for families to be able to welcome mothers and babies back to country after being discharged from the hospital.

“This garden will provide a nice place outdoors for people to come and enjoy family time,” he said. Planning for the landscape design is underway in consultation with the Bourke Hospital Auxiliary and Bourke Garden Club to make sure the right plants are chosen that will suit Bourke’s climate. If anyone is interested in helping out with the garden you can give Pat Canty a call at Bourke Health Service on 6870 8888. 

Maternity care over Christmas

Over the Christmas – New Year time, if you need maternity care or have any concerns our midwife Teresa Siew will be around and you can reach her at the Bourke Hospital. 

As Terese will be working different shifts over this time, it is best to contact the hospital to leave a message for her and she will get back to you. If there is an emergency please dial 000 or go directly to Bourke hospital. 

Over Christmas, mums are advised to take care in eating well – Louise advises to avoid seafood such as prawns, soft cheeses and try to not drink any alcohol. With the hot weather happening, it is important for mums to keep well hydrated and drink lots of water.

Did you know

When travelling out of town for medial specialist appointments you can claim financial support through Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS). Contact your local GP, Community Health or ring 1800 ENABLE (1800 362 253) for more info.

Dec 09
Understanding AMIHS – Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Strategy

The AMIHS was developed by NSW Health to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal women and women with Aboriginal partners during pregnancy and birth by providing a service that is culturally sensitive, woman centred and provided in partnership with Aboriginal peoples.

The Strategy supports Closing the Gap and upholds the understanding of and respect for Aboriginal culture. It provides community based maternity care during pregnancy and some early postnatal care as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Care is given in a partnership between specialists, GPs, midwives, Aboriginal Health Workers, the mother and her family.

Bourke has two Aboriginal health staff who provide support in the AMIHS project.

Louise Brown is the Bourke Health Service Aboriginal Health Worker. Her role is mainly to work within the hospital and provide support for Aboriginal patients. Louise also helps Kelly Lienesch in the community providing support for Aboriginal mothers and mothers with Aboriginal partners. Recently Louise visited the new maternity section at Dubbo. She said “The Dubbo maternity unit is so beautiful and big. It is really lovely.” Having done the visit Louise now knows what the layout is and can explain this better to mothers booking in.

Louise also attends with Kelly the regular telehealth link between Bourke Health Service and the maternity team in Dubbo.

Kelly Lienesch is the Bourke AMIHS Aboriginal Health Education Officer. Her role is to work in partnership with the AMIHS midwife to provide antenatal care to pregnant women in Bourke and Brewarrina area.

Kelly conducts antenatal classes in partnership with Bourke Aboriginal Health Service. The classes include promoting breast feeding, birth plans, keeping well in pregnancy and supporting partners. Kelly said that partners are very welcome to be part of the classes and she would like to see more come.

“We will be running next year the Marang Dahli Eating Well Program so keep your eyes open for when this starts” Kelly said.

Did you know

If you have to stay overnight somewhere when travelling away for specialist medical services and you are able to stay with relatives, you can still claim for financial assistance through IPTAAS (Isolation Patient Transport and Accommodation Assistance Scheme). An allowance of $20 per night is available to assist with private accommodation. For more information ring 1800 ENABLE (1800 362 253).

Dec 03
Meet our New Midwifery Team

Bourke Health Service has welcomed two new midwives who will provide ante-natal and post-natal care for mothers in and around Bourke.

Matilda Davis has enj​oyed her move to Bourke. Originally from Orange she has been working in Maternity for three years. Matilda is also a Registered Nurse and has worked in ICU and Rehab.

“The people in Bourke have been particularly welcoming and the sunsets are beautiful!” Matilda said. One of Matilda’s aims is to introduce and offer birthing classes to all pregnant women in Bourke.

Teresa Siew has come to Bourke for the next three months in the role of Registered Midwife for the Aboriginal Infant and Maternal Health Strategy (AIMHS). Originally from New Zealand, 

Teresa has had 35 years’ experience as a nurse and midwife working in Malaysia, New Zealand and Queensland.

Teresa said that she has found Bourke very friendly and feels very wanted.​

Our Supporting Midwives

Julie Dorling is a Clinical Midwife Consultant who has been providing support to midwives in Bourke for the past 10 years.

“I have been living and working in western NSW since I became a midwife 30 years ago” said Julie.

“I feel very welcome when I come to Bourke and look forward to working with the new midwives Matilda and Teresa to build a wonderful midwifery service for women in and around Bourke” she said.

Lou Gillman is a Child and Family Health Nurse and a relief AIMHS Midwife.

Lou lives in Gilgandra and has been working with mothers, families and children in Gilgandra and Gulargambone for the past 15 years.

Over this time she has also relieved as an AIMHS Midwife in Dubbo and Gilgandra.

Lou said it was during this time she met Kelly from Bourke who was the AMIHS Aboriginal Health Worker and after listening to her story of needing midwifery help was inspired to offer to come and help out.

“I had never been to Bourke and when I got there I was straight away welcomed into the community by the wonderful staff and the lovely ladies that Kelly and I would be providing ante-natal care for” said Lou. Lou has enjoyed working in Bourke and will leave with great memories.

“Matilda and Teresa will be a fantastic asset for the Bourke community and the community health team” she said

For more information contact Rebekah Bullock, Director Communication & Engagement

About this blog
No, this isn't actually my picture. I just haven't gotten around to updating this section. It's good to know that someone is reading every last word though. Thanks!