Ten questions for Robbo aka @BiteTheDust

I drove off the lands on Boxing Day 2015 and stayed a couple of nights with Bob Gosford. For my sins he forced me to answer his 10 question quiz. The original post is here.

My pet hate listed in the quiz has certainly come to prominence following the 4 Corners investigation into the running of Indigenous Corporations. Please watch the show “Ripped Off” if you have not already seen it.

Ten questions for Robbo aka @BiteTheDust

In July 2015, Robbo was named the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Pharmacist of the Year for 2015. Robbo has worked for the last ten years as a remote pharmacist in the vast Ngaanyatjarra Lands of Western Australia adjoining the NT and South Australian borders and is a tireless advocate for improvements in Aboriginal health.

Robbo, George and Girl outside Wanarn Clinic
Robbo, George and Girl outside Wanarn Clinic

I had a yarn with my good mate Andrew “Robbo” Roberts aka @BiteTheDust over the Christmas break just before he flew out of the country for a few months.

In July 2015, Robbo was named the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Pharmacist of the Year for 2015. Robbo has worked for the last ten years as a remote pharmacist in the vast Ngaanyatjarra Lands of Western Australia adjoining the NT and South Australian borders and is a tireless advocate for improvements in Aboriginal health.

At the time of his induction he said that his:
”… biggest thanks go to the people of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands for welcoming me on to their lands and into their lives for over 10 years. I hope this award increases the recognition of the need for pharmacists to be working as part of the health care team for our remote Indigenous Australians.”

The Northern Myth: Tell readers about yourself in ten words.

Robbo: A ten word biography? Desert, bush, medication, literacy, best-practice, education … Dingo, four-wheel drive.

TNM: What makes you happy?

R: Coming out of the bush and having someone make me a fresh coffee that I haven’t had to make myself.

TNM: What makes you angry?

R: The sheer waste you see and the blame-shifting by whitefellas buggering up indigenous organisations.

TNM: Cats, dogs, both or neither?

R: Dogs. The less said about cats the better.

TNM: Sunday morning music?

R: I don’t really listen to music much but out bush where I am you get the church going or some locals playing music somewhere in the community. There is always music in the bush.

TNM: Your Desert Island disc?

R: There are a few bits of music that I always associate with certain things that happen in the past, so some of the old seventies songs, a bit of old Skyhooks or pretty much anything by Madness …

TNM: Where do we go when we are dead?

R: In the ground.

TNM: What do you sing in the shower?

R: Nothing. I’m not a singing person.

TNM: When did you last break the law?

R: Yesterday when I did a u-bolt outside your place without putting the indicators on (laughs) and usually every time I come into town because out bush you don’t worry about white lines or indicators.

TNM: Top-loader or front-loader?

R: Top-loader – out bush that’s all there is!

TNM: Most treasured possession?

R: Well I couldn’t count Girl (my Dingo dog) as a possession. Can’t really answer that one …

TNM: Pen or pencil?

R: Pen! I love a fountain pen. I’m left-handed and I’m a shocking writer so at least it makes me try and have hand-writing that is legible.

TNM: What are you reading in non-fiction?

R: Not much at the moment, all my stuff is packed up. The last book I was caught reading was just released about the life and works of the artists from Wanarn Aged Care called The Wanarn Painters of Place and Time: Old Age Travels in the Tjukurrpa made with the assistance of the arts centre from Warakuna. Some great old artists from the lands have ended up at the aged care centre, including Dr. Mary McLean who is now a West Australian Living Treasure. She doesn’t paint anymore but she is a renowned artist who lived in Kalgoorlie for a number of years and moved back out to country to stop at the Wanarn Aged Care facility.

TNM: What about fiction?

R: Yeah, I’ve been churning through a lot of books. I didn’t read much for ages but I’ve been reading some nasty and forgettable crime fiction recently. Not much of any substance for a while.

South Australia Health Social Media Policy

SA Health LogoSouth Australia has a social media presence. It is on Twitter as @SAHealth, a presence on YouTube SA Health – Australia and Facebook.

The 35 videos on You Tube have no description for search engines to look at and as a consequence none have been watched more than 60 times.

SA Health also uses Twitter. But only to broadcast. Not to engage. There is a small amount of interaction on Facebook.

But it does have a social media policy (or bottom of the post). But they are not guidelines for staff. But mainly on how SA Health uses Twitter. It mentions and links to YouTube, but only a facebook button on the policy page.


As part of account maintenance and monitoring, SA Health regularly reviews accounts it is following. This may result in unfollowing accounts.

Well duh.

So no policy on staff usage, no official encouragement. Only guidelines on how the official SA Health twitter account is run. Go read their policy if you wish to be both bored and frustrated at the waste of an opportunity.

Click to visit other health based social media policies.

If you see any social media policies by bodies or organisations involved in Australian Healthcare please send them to me.

SA Health social media policy
Terms and conditions of use (updated 20th Oct 2011)

SA Health uses social media for the distribution of health information, alerts, news and event updates. In certain circumstances, (for example State emergencies), SA Health may also use social media to inform the public and its stakeholders directly with information updates.

SA Health currently operates the following social media accounts:

@SAHealth – a Twitter account for South Australian public health sector information including health alerts, careers, health tips, news and events

SAHealthAustralia – a YouTube channel for South Australian public health sector information delivered in video format.
Content management

The SA Health social media sites are managed by the Communication Branch in the Policy, Governance and Executive Services Division.

If you join or follow a SA Health social media account you can expect approximately 5 updates per week.

SA Health also utilises other information channels and does not solely release news and announcements via social media.


SA Health updates and monitors its social media sites during office hours, 8:30 am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

The social media sites used by SA Health may occasionally be unavailable and we accept no responsibility for lack of service due to their downtime.


SA Health does not automatically follow organisations or individuals who follow it.

SA Health may follow relevant organisations including government agencies, health sector organisations and other parties where there is a clear link in communicating and receiving health information.

SA Health will not follow individuals unless they are known in a professional capacity and satisfy the above criteria. Being followed by SA Health does not imply endorsement of any kind.

Comments, @Replies and Direct Messages

SA Health welcomes feedback and ideas from its followers.

SA Health reads all comments, @replies and Direct Messages and ensures that any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are forwarded to the relevant people in the organisation.

SA Health is not able to reply individually to all messages received and where common topics and requests exist, SA Health may issue a general notification to all parties.

SA Health does not engage on issues of State or Federal politics nor provide individual health and medical advice.

In an emergency call 000

If you are unwell see your local GP or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222

The usual ways of contacting SA Health for official correspondence are detailed in the Contact Us section of the SA Health website .


SA Health actively seeks opportunities to re-tweet content that contributes to the dissemination and exchange of useful information about health and related topics.

SA Health may occasionally be asked to re-tweet content from other Twitter users. It will consider these requests on a case by case basis but generally aims to honour such requests from:

Other government departments
Recognised stakeholders, and
Non-profit organisations (NGOs).

In line with SA Government advertising policy SA Health will generally not re-tweet content from profit-making organisations.


In the interest of organising our followers into meaningful categories and providing stakeholders and the public with useful industry and topic information, SA Health may create publicly viewable lists of organisations following its sites.

Inclusion on lists does not imply endorsement of any kind.

Should an organisation not wish to be included on a list created SA Health, it may request to be removed from the list by sending a direct message to the relevant account.


As part of account maintenance and monitoring, SA Health regularly reviews accounts it is following. This may result in unfollowing accounts.

Hashtags (#)

It is a convention among Twitter users to distinguish content using semantic tags (keywords), preceded by a # sign. This enables users to search and filter information based on keywords and share information more meaningfully. Hashtags also allow users to quickly identify ‘trending’ topics (as displayed on the Twitter.com homepage).

SA Health will use hashtags when:

Identifying public health services such as hospitals and key health topics
Identifying key staff such as the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive
Providing live coverage of events
Providing State emergency communications using agreed hashtags through appropriately authorised staff.

Link shortening

Unless they are already very short, URLs will be shortened using commonly used link compressing services.


SA Health captures and stores records of comments posted to our social media sites for records management purposes.

SA Health does not capture or record the contact details of parties following its social media sites. Any information identified or deemed confidential or private is treated in accordance with SA Health’s Privacy Statement.

Election periods and Caretaker mode

The same approach will be taken to social media as other communication channels during election periods and Caretaker mode.


In addition to the SA Health website disclaimer, the following conditions apply:

All messages on social media sites should be considered public and visible to all for review, comment and sharing.

Information posted on one of our social media sites is not intended to be individual medical advice and should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace consultation with a qualified doctor or other health care professional.

In an emergency call 000.

If you are unwell see your local GP or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.

Addition 26th Dec 2011: In a recent twitter conversation with the SA Health Minister John Hill MP he advised that SA Health would release guidelines for staff “soon”. Hopefully they will allow them the freedom to tweet and interact as John Hill can.

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