Galambila Health celebrates 10 years
TEN years ago, indigenous people on the Coffs Coast had to travel to Grafton to access culturally-specific health services.
But today they only have to head down the road to Galambila Aboriginal Health Service, which celebrated its 10th birthday yesterday.
“It's been a long haul to get to this stage,” Galambila chief executive officer David Kennedy said.
“We couldn't have gotten to 10 years without the community or the committed staff, we've still got the original doctor and practice manager we had when we started.”
Established by the Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service in 1998, Galambila began with one part-time GP and two volunteers.
Today the service has 25 staff members, three GPs, three nurses and four Aboriginal health workers, and averages more than 10,000 GP consults a year.
Galambila offers the gamut of health services, including podiatry, optometry, speech pathology, psychology and paediatrics, while still providing primary health care coupled with cultural sensitivity.
“You can come here and be seen by an Aboriginal, sit in a waiting room with other Aboriginals, and have access to mainstream health services with Aboriginal cultural expertise,” Mr Kennedy said.
There was all the more reason to celebrate at the community birthday party yesterday, as Galambila gained independence from its auspice body in July this year, meaning the service is now controlled by the Coffs Harbour community and decisions are made locally.
“This party is for the community, it is their service and without their support Galambila would not exist,” Mr Kennedy said.
“We're going to continue to grow, we're always seeking additional services and more GP hours, and we're going to work to keep the doors open.”