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Improving Aboriginal Health

Improving Aboriginal Health

Our commitment to improving Aboriginal health

We are committed to improving Aboriginal health. Please read our Statement of Commitment.

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is committed to improving the health of Aboriginal people: we identify this as a strategic priori​ty​ for the organisation. In line with this, an Aboriginal Health Plan and implementation roadmap has been developed to provide direction and track our progress against key Aboriginal health priority areas.

Artwork; Two people

Some of the key areas of Aboriginal health are:

  • Ensuring programs and services are accessible, affordable, relevant and appropriate for Aboriginal communities;
  • Continuing to develop and strengthen effective partnerships and working relationships with the Aboriginal community controlled sector, Primary Health Networks, Aboriginal communities and other key stakeholders;
  • Development and support of a skilled Aboriginal workforce;
  • Ensuring governance, planning and advisory structures within the organisation are supportive of culturally relevant decision-making.

Looking for a service in your area? To find a health service use our facility listing map.


Our Aboriginal nations

Our Local Health District includes the lands of many A​boriginal nations.

Map of Aboriginal nations in the Health District


Publications and reports

Our Improving Aboriginal Health Strategy 2018-2023 outlines the journey over the next five years for Aboriginal health for our Local Health District, our key partners and most importantly for our local Aboriginal communities.

The strategy focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of our Aboriginal population by setting realistic, achievable goals that focus on improving the environments we deliver our services in, the way we deliver these services and by strengthening our Aboriginal workforce.​

Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was launched on 14th September 2017 by Professor Tom Calma, Co-Chair Reconciliation Australia and our Chief Executive, Scott Mclachlan. The launch took place during the 2017 Aboriginal Health Forum, which was attended by more than 100 members of our workforce.

The RAP is about what our organisation can do to contribute to reconciliation in Australia. It will help us develop a more culturally safe and tolerant workplace that will contribute to improving service delivery to Aboriginal peoples, their families and communities.​


Aboriginal Signage Strategy

​The Arts and Signage Strategy aims to increase the districts cultural security by improving the cultural safety of its facilities.

The increase in cultural security will be achieved by a phased roll-out of culturally safe signage, including the use of unique Aboriginal artwork and language, at Base Hospital and Multipurpose Services.

The Western NSW Local Health District is pleased to invite Aboriginal Artist to submit a portfolio of their work to be considered for the Arts and Signage Strategy. The following town(s) are now accepting expressions of interest:


​Our Aboriginal workforce

We are committed to developing a skilled Aboriginal workforce reflective of our local Aboriginal population.

Meet our mob! We are proud of our Aboriginal workforce. We have Aboriginal people in various roles at varying levels within our organisation.


Partnerships

We have a variety of partnerships with other organisations who are also committed to improving Aboriginal health in our area including:

  • Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Services Bila Muuji works to address health inequality in their local communities: Brewarrina, Bourke, Coomealla, Dubbo, Forbes, Orange, Wellington and Walgett.
  • TAFE Western
    TAFE Western is committed to fostering social and economic development by providing innovative and relevant training aligned to job opportunities and community needs.

Programs and services

Integrated Care

Integrated Care is about better connecting and resourcing our highly skilled and dedicated health network (GPs, nurses, specialists, allied health providers) to provide care that responds to all of a person’s health needs – physical and mental – in partnership with patients, carers and family.

Marang Dhali – Eating Well

Marang Dhali Eating Well (MDEW) is a practical cooking and food program for Aboriginal communities. The program provides training and resources to Aboriginal Health Workers/Practitioners and partner organisations to deliver nutrition programs in their local community. Marang Dhali Facilitators are supported by the Project Organising Committee (POC) who are made up of experienced Facilitators and Health Promotion staff. The POC also provides advice on MDEW program development and implementation. The Health Promotion Team works closely with the Aboriginal Health workforce to ensure the program is community led.

The aims of the program are:

  • To build the capacity of our Aboriginal Health workforce to deliver a food and cooking program within their community; and
  • To engage Aboriginal participants and increase their food and cooking knowledge, skills and confidence, to support healthy family food behaviours.

‘Marang Dhali’ is the Wiradjuri language phrase for ‘eating well’. We acknowledge and thank Stanley Vernard ‘Stan’ Grant Snr, AM, an Elder of the Wiradjuri Nation and Language Specialist of the Elders Council, for his advice and permission to use this phrase in the title of our Program.

Participants cook healthy recipes, discuss ideas for good nutrition and share the prepared meal together.

Jasmine Craciun designed the contemporary artwork for the Marang Dhali program in 2019.

“The Marang Dhali artwork combines the colours and shapes of healthy eating and merges them into a contemporary version of indigenous dot painting and traditional symbols. Bold and bright colours represent the way that healthy eating can be a fun and exciting experience. The symbols for ‘people sitting’ as well as a coolamon and digging sticks/spears can be seen illustrated within the artwork. These represent the old ways Indigenous people gathered and shared their food, stories and education with one another much like the way Marang Dhali does today. The main story behind this artwork is that in order for us to grow big and strong and continue sharing our stories with the world; we as Indigenous people need to make healthy eating a part of our culture once again.”

If you are interested in becoming a Marang Dhali Facilitator or would like to know if there is a program running near you, contact the Health Promotion team on WNSWLHD-HealthPromotion@health.nsw.gov.au.

 

Mental health, drug & alcohol

The mental health of our Aboriginal people is very important to us. Read more about
mental health, drug and alcohol services across Western NSW Local Health District.

Information to help keep you healthy

We have gathered a list of resources and information to help you keep healthy. This information can help you improve your health, quit smoking, prevent falls and keep your kids healthy.​

Chronic Care for Aboriginal People: 48 Hour Follow-Up Program

The 48 Hour Follow-Up Program aims to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal patients with chronic disease, by providing follow-up within 48 hours of discharge from an acute facility.​