Remote Pharmacist WA – A conversation between myself and the Pharmacy Guild President

In January 2015 the president of the Pharmacy Guild George Tambassis and his PR man Greg Turnbull came onto the lands to spend 5 days with me on the lands. George and I have known each other since uni (in the same prac. group) but had not seen each other since we graduated. We caught up for the first time in nearly 30 years at an international pharmacy conference in September 2014.

The first few hours were spent in Alice Springs where the now previous CEO tried to tell him I was acting out of scope of practice for reviewing medications on the discharge summary of our patients from hospital and advising the doctor of any problems (actually best practice). This set the tone for 2015.

George and Greg travelled out the hard way in a troopie with me for 924km from Alice Springs in the January heat and spent nearly a week with me.

On their last day on the lands Greg filmed George and I having a conversation. Yes, it is a year old but the discussion is still relevant.

Australia Day 2016 has passed

Australia day has passed us by for another year. Celebrated not on the day we became a country on the 1st January 1901, but on the day the flag was raised in Sydney Cover by Captain Arthur Phillip on a land declared terra nullius – “nobody’s land” – used describe territory which has never been subject to the sovereignty of any state, despite the hundreds of languages and nations that existed in Australia at that time.

With January 26th having an impact on the original inhabitants (called Invasion Day or Survival Day) and the date meaningless for when we became a nation perhaps the date needs to be changed.

Here are a few of my favourite things from the 26th.

Youth worker Angelica McLean with friends at Warburton WA, Australia Day 2016
Youth worker Angelica McLean with friends at Warburton WA, Australia Day 2016

At Warburton in the remote Ngaanyatjarra Lands in Western Australia Angelica McLean painted up a number of people in the Australian colours of red,black and yellow and shared it through Facebook.

In Victoria the Country Fire Authority put out a call for images representing the spirit of the nation to mark Australia Day Angela Joy, a volunteer fire fighter with Tallygaroopna fire brigade put up the picture below (see Facebook for all the positive comments) which is such a positive image on so many levels

breastfeeding firefighter

And then there was Lee Lin Chin in Operation Boomerang, the annual Australia Day campaign to eat more lamb was released online before a tv advertising campaign. It attracted about 650 complaints, most of them by vegans saying it incites hatred against them. I reckon their complaints brought more ridicule than the add promoted hatred. Poor little veganites.

Operation Boomerang was a great name except it was to promote a day using an Indigenous word (or at least an English version of an Indigenous word) on a day that celebrates the arrival of Europeans and the start of colonisation with the dispossession and massacres that came with it. I can understand how some feel it to be an insult on an insult.

I urge you to take a look at an article written by Arrernte woman Celeste Liddle titled How to show solidarity with Indigenous Australians this Invasion Day

Here is the ad for those of you who have been locked in a closet

And thanks Geli for letting me use the photo.

Australian Project to Increase Livability of Remote Indigenous Communities: Warburton

An Australian-first project to improve the liveability of Aboriginal communities is underway in the remote town of Warburton in Western Australia, led by AECOM, the University of Western Australia and the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

The Sustainable Warburton Project is a research, design and planning project to create new and improved urban spaces with the aim of transforming how Indigenous people live, that could be applied to Indigenous communities across Australia and around the world.

It brings Aboriginal residents of the town, 920km north east of Kalgoorlie, together with a team of AECOM specialists in urban design, ecology, landscape architecture and architecture, and academics and students from the University of Western Australia (UWA).

Projects designed include an award-winning community college and an urban agriculture scheme where orange trees irrigated with treated wastewater are planted throughout the town to provide shade, food, protection from dust and improved health.

Townspeople and community representatives have gathered over the past few months to discuss their needs in formal and informal settings with students and the project team to help identify community-enhancing projects.

Masters and honours students are now finalising design projects as part of their academic requirements which will become the basis for funding application and development. Designs will be presented to the Shire Council in February, when the winner of an AECOM prize for the most outstanding design will also be announced.

AECOM Project Director, Jon Shinkfield, who established the project’s framework with UWA, said it was a ground-breaking model to improve Aboriginal communities.

“This is the first tri-partisan relationship between an Australian Indigenous community, academia and industry to build a research and knowledge bank over a longer term with the focus on settlement planning and implementation,” Shinkfield said.

“The Sustainable Warburton Project will not only affect the future of the Warburton community but potentially inform the broader agenda of Indigenous settlement.

“We’re committed to a program focused on research, practice and realisation of a new spatial order for the town and it is hoped this will lead to major changes in the way Indigenous people can live.”

As projects are funded, students will become part of the development team to project-manage and deliver the initiatives for Warburton’s 600 residents. Projects focus on sustainability, community, urban planning, water and energy management and agriculture to improve health, education and social engagement, and include:

  • Community College – an award-winning design offering spatial opportunities for women’s meetings, a library and reading and other informal and formal gatherings.
  • Urban Agriculture – planting orange trees irrigated with treated wastewater throughout the town to provide shade, food, protection from dust and improved community health.
  • Housing Family Groups – a project looking at accommodation arrangements and clusters that work more harmoniously with how Indigenous families gather.
  • Warburton Arts Precinct – a project devoted to Warburton’s internationally exhibited art.
  • Community Services Facilities – making provision for the specific needs of community.
  • Town Spaces – incorporating productive landscapes into the town’s spatial structure.
  • Dean of the UWA’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts, Winthrop Professor Simon Anderson, has commended AECOM and the Shire Council of Ngaanyatjarraku on the project.

    “This is a most important community-based planning and design initiative in partnership with our faculty,” Professor Anderson said.

    Another Australian first

    Work is also underway on a separate AECOM project to expand Warburton’s Early Learning Centre and Learning Landscape. In an Australian-first, it features a playgroup for Indigenous women and children with structured activities to help school become a more acceptable option for the future.

    AECOM is also advising on alternative energy options to help find solutions to the community’s reliance on costly diesel fuel to drive the town’s generators.

    AECOM plans an ongoing involvement in Warburton to ensure the proposed projects are delivered to the community as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility commitment.

    “AECOM and UWA look forward to coming back to Warburton annually to build the knowledge base, see further projects conceived and help develop and implement them,” Shinkfield said.

    many thanks to Reed publications for allowing me to repost this article from their website.

    Evaluation of a model for the provision of pharmacy services to remote Aboriginal Health Services

    Evaluation of the provision of a pharmacy service to remote areas

    I started work with a very remote health service in 2005 as a project to have (and evaluate) a pharmacist working as part of the primary healthcare team out bush. Funding was provided by the Rural and Remote Pharmacy Workforce Development Program (Department of Health and Ageing).

    Over six years later I am still here with a second pharmacist working with me.

    The original project evaluation can be downloaded here from the Centre for Remote Health.

    If anyone wants to do some research I’d love to have a further review of what we do.

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