Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service

Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service celebrate NAIDOC

CAHS March for NAIDOC

Marching with Pride down William Street.

Tanya and Emma lead the way.

  • Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service (CAHS) held a March and Community Event at Memorial Park to celebrate NAIDOC last Thursday. CAHS Aboriginal Health Workers Emma Dargin and Tanya Sloane said the event was a great success. “We want to thank all of those who took part in the March,” they said. “It was great to see such communuty spirit. The March has not been part of our celebrations for some time, but was embraced with such enthusiasm by everyone.” Emma and Tanya said they wanted to thank Central West Community Support, Liz from Centacare, Steve Karatiarna (jumping castle), Lachlan Shire Council, Mayor John Medcalf, Yawarra, Currajong, Condobolin HIgh School, Condobolin Public School, Lachlan River Community Fellowship, Googars Dancers, all of the volunteers, CAHS staff, Board and CEO Cecil Lester for making the event the success it was. Photographs by MB and Dakotah Haworth

Safety first for Condo children

• CAHS held a car seat information session and barbecue earlier this month. Senior Aboriginal Health Workers, Emma Dargin and Tanya Sloane said while a lot of people were conscious about using child restraints these days, it was still important to get information out there on tips for usage, such as the importance of attaching the restraint to a proper anchorage point. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Australian Aboriginal children are approximately three times more likely to be involved in road related fatalities and hospitalisations compared to that of non-Aboriginal children. Research shows that with the correct use of child seat restraints, these injuries can be greatly prevented, however, the use of correct child seat restraints still remains low.

Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service (CAHS) Senior Aboriginal Health Workers, Emma Dargin and Tanya Sloane said while a lot of people were conscious about using child restraints these days, it was still important to get information out there on tips for usage, such as the importance of attaching the restraint to a proper anchorage point.

They said that while some families might not even have a car, when it came to having their children travel with family, it was important to have a child restraint available. The pair hosted a child restraint safety and information barbecue for local residents at CAHS earlier this month.

“We want to promote, facilitate and support the effective use of motor vehicle child restraints by our Aboriginal families in Condobolin,” they explained.

“The information session and barbecue helped to raise awareness about road safety benefits of the appropriate use and fitting of child restraints in motor vehicles.

“This event enabled us to show families how to fit a car seat properly, talk about what child restraints are appropriate for certain age groups and make them aware of the dangers of not protecting children through the correct car seat.”

Local resident Natarsha Blair was presented with a child seat at the event, and said she was “happy” to receive such a generous gift that would protect her child.

Condobolin Aboriginal Health receives more funding

By Melissa Blewitt

Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service will receive $212,000 new funding annually from the NSW Government.

The funding boost will be for initiatives and activities that support healthy lifestyles, prevention and management of chronic diseases and support for families affected by alcohol and drug misuse.

Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries said the boost in funding would help the service to further link Aboriginal patients to programs that contribute to improved health outcomes.

“The Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service does a tremendous job, working with the local Aboriginal community to treat and prevent a range of health issues including diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions,” he explained.

“This funding will help the service refer more people to healthy lifestyle and treatment programs such as the Go4Fun child obesity program and the Get Healthy Coaching service as well as providing interventions for quitting smoking and alcohol abuse.”

Chronic diseases account for the greatest contribution to the gap in morbidity and mortality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in NSW.

Assistant Minister for Health Pru Goward said the life expectancy for Aboriginal people falls well below that of non-Aboriginal people.

“Ensuring local services are equipped to address the health needs of the local Aboriginal communities is key to improving life expectancy,” she said.

 

New doctor at the Aboriginal Health Service

There is a new doctor in town with the arrival of GP Registrar Jim Chen at the Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service (CAHS) two weeks ago.

• General Practitioner Dr Jim Chen has started seeing patients at the Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service. LP

By Lara Pearce

There is a new doctor in town with the arrival of GP Registrar Jim Chen at the Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service (CAHS) two weeks ago.

Dr Chen says he has been enjoying the change of scene from his last post in Orange.

“When I told patients I was coming here, their reaction was shock,” he said. “But when I came here I went out to the lake and it is beautiful there.

“There is a beautiful swimming pool […] there is the river and the SRA Grounds and golf, so there are a lot of activities you can enjoy.”

With permanent doctors hard to keep in small towns, there will be many grateful for this enthusiasm.

Dr Chen studied medicine in China and, since moving to Australia in 2002, has spent around ten years working on medical developments in Perth.

“When I first came here, I was doing research in the medical field, but I felt that I like facing people more than looking at cells in a microscope,” he said.

The returning doctor has been retraining to practice medicine in Australia for the past year and a half at a medical clinic in Orange.

“I am still a Registrar,” he said. “This is part of my rotation.”

Having already seen quite a few patients, Dr Chen says that in spite of some differences to the clinic in Orange, he is enjoying the work immensely.

At present, he plans to stay in Condobolin for about a year.

Doctor May to feature on ABC’s Compass

Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service (CAHS) doctor, Dr May El-Khoury, and her daughter Stafania Ruidiaz El-Khoury will soon be featuring in the national ABC news-documentary program, Compass.

• Doctor El-Khoury and daughter Stafania look through family photo albums at their Condobolin home as the Compass crew film last Friday evening. LP

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service (CAHS) doctor, Dr May El-Khoury, and her daughter Stafania Ruidiaz El-Khoury will soon be featuring in the national ABC news-documentary program, Compass.

A Compass crew was in Condobolin last Friday filming for the program, which will likely air in late March or April. The documentary focuses on a number of the asylum seekers and refugees who will star in artist Wendy Sharpe’s exhibition in Sydney later this month.

“We’ve come to Condobolin to see where she lives and the services she provides to the community,” Compass producer Deborah Boerne said of Dr El-Khoury.

“The documentary is focusing on Wendy Sharpe’s thought process in making the works.”

Dr El-Khoury says the interview was a very emotional but worthwhile experience, bringing up many painful memories of their flight from Columbia and their experience as asylum seekers coming to Australia.

Ms Boerne, cameraman Jeff Malouf and sound recordist Tim Parratt filmed scenes inside the El-Khoury’s Condobolin home and at the CAHS.

 

Showcasing Condo

Fun and function combined at the Community and Service Expo last Friday, with local community organisations and Government service providers holding stalls on the old bowling greens on William Street, Condobolin.

• Above: Senior Constable Daniel Greef from the Lachlan Local Area Command speaking to some of the Condobolin Preschool and Kindergarten children and Preschool teacher Carly Black about road safety at Central West Family Support’s Community and Service Expo Day. LP

By Lara Pearce

Fun and function combined at the Community and Service Expo last Friday, with local community organisations and Government service providers holding stalls on the old bowling greens on William Street, Condobolin.

Organised by Western Plains Regional Development, the day was a chance for locals to receive help with Medicare and Centrelink claims and issues and get information on healthy lifestyles, all in a fun day out.

The Australian Government Mobile Service Centre attended, with service providers busy all day giving advice and assistance on Centrelink and Medicare issues. Rebecca Newton from Australian Hearing was also on the bus and was conducting hearing checks on the day. “We work in conjunction with the Government providing services to eligible pensioners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” she explained.

There was also information on voting in Australian elections, with Jennifer Hammond from the Australian Electoral Commission on hand to help. “I am here today to give people the opportunity to enrol or update their details on the electoral roll if they need to, or simply to have a chat about voting,” she said.

It was not all business, however. There was also a jumping castle for the children, a barbeque lunch cooked by Paul McFadyen and Ralph Smith and showbags and balloons to keep everyone entertained.

Eryn Mullins from the Lachlan Shire Library read stories to the children. “I’m here promoting the library and all the services we provide,” she said.

Lachlan Local Area Command travelled from Parkes for the Expo, where Senior Constable Daniel Greef spoke about the role of the police to the youngsters, as well as how to safely cross the road. The Condobolin Preschool and Kindergarten children had lots of questions for Constable Greef and were fascinated by his belt with his police equipment, from tools to torches.

The Benevolent Society’s hair spraying stall was very popular with the children, who had their hair sprayed all the colours of the rainbow by Benevolent Society workers Jaromir Sladek and Brent Harris.

Chemist Ashleigh Rees from Shortis and Timmins Pharmacy was giving out information about the importance of keeping up-to-date with childhood vaccination, as well as keeping whooping cough under check. “Many people think whooping cough is no longer an issue but it is coming back,” Ms Rees warned. “There is a vaccine available so adults should be getting vaccinated as well [if they haven’t been already] to stop the spread.”

The Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service was promoting healthy eating and exercise as well as checking people’s blood pressure, while the Community Health nurses also had a stall focusing on diabetes management and prevention. They conducted risk assessments and blood pressure checks and offered advice to attendees.

Other stall holders on the day included Condobolin Community Transport and the Condobolin Swimming Pool.

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