My Health Record remote community engagement in the Kimberley – Part 1

Several of the WA Primary Health Alliance team recently visited a number of remote Kimberley communities in the East Kimberley peninsula to inform them about My Health Record.

Sandra Ryder, My Health Record Community Engagement Officer, Rodney Carpio, Aboriginal Health Coordinator, and Maxine Chi, Regional Coordinator Kimberley, travelled to Lombadina Aboriginal Corporation, Djarindjin Community, One Arm Point, Beagle Bay, Ngumpan Community and Wangkatjungka community.

One Arm Point

The first stop on their travels was the Community Centre at One Arm Point where the team setup an information table and a banner. Community members and Centrelink customers stopped by to have a yarn. Visitors to the centre asked many questions about My Health Record and kept the team busy for several hours before they moved to the local clinic where they spoke with the nursing staff and the Aboriginal health practitioner. Although the staff were aware of My Health Record and there was a poster in the waiting room, they welcomed the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding.

One Arm Point has a transient population and the opportunity for the GP to view a real-time health summary of each patient was seen a huge benefit by the medical staff. The team engaged with visiting patients who embraced the idea of a record that travels with you wherever you go.

Lombadina Aboriginal Corporation and Djarindjin Community

At Lombadina Aboriginal Corporation and Djarindjin Community, the team had a great conversation with CEO Tony Sibosado about the benefits of having a My Health Record for a transient population that travels across the vast Kimberley region of almost 423,000 square kilometres.

At the Lombadina clinic the team spoke with the Practice Manager Sonia, before heading to the Djarindjin local store where they set up a stall at the entrance to engage with the community. There was little awareness around My Health Record and most visitors had not heard about the digital health system yet. The personalised touch of having one-on-one engagement with communities was well received.

Sandra explains “In general, Aboriginal people get more out of a one-on-one conversation rather than sitting in a room, watching and listening to a presentation. They feel more comfortable in their own environment, therefore they will engage and ask more questions.” One Lombadina community member already had a My Health Record. She liked it that her information and her children’s’ immunisation details were at hand for her doctors to see.

Engagement success

looking back, Rodney  summarised the week as follows: “The visits were well received, we had good support from CEOs of the four Aboriginal communities and from WA Country Health Services based in these communities.”

Planning and execution

This trip formed the first phase of remote engagement within the Kimberley and further trips are planned to engage with other communities. The work began after detailed planning by our Kimberley office, led by Andy McGaw and Maxine Chi. The work of WA Primary Health Alliance complements engagement activities being undertaken in other areas of the Kimberley by the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services.


More information

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