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Medical Student Feedback

- Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Medical Student Feedback

My experience at WACHS has been above and beyond my expectations with rife opportunity for professional development. From day one we were welcomed by every staff member of the practice whether it be from reception to the cleaners, and treated as an equal member of the team. Something that I've loved at WACHS is the responsibility given to us, with certain days spent running the clinic or being entrusted with drawing up COVID-19 injections. It's been great feeling useful to the team as a medical student. I take away from WACHS valuable knowledge in my experience of witnessing a community based approach to holistic medicine and a greater ability to approach the health needs of Indigenous patients. In the survey project we conducted whilst here it became overwhelmingly obvious the appreciation that patients have for the health service here and the staff that run it. After my time here I can see why. Kind regards, James


My time at WACHS is one I'll always cherish. From our introduction to our departure the staff and community made our time such a welcoming and enjoyable experience. Within the week we were given the opportunity to participate in a range of activities, working with multiple health professionals in various fields. We gained valuable exposure to holistic medicine and how it can be implemented to create an inclusive and respectful culture for the community. I appreciated the level of trust WACHS had in us, guiding us from one-on-one teaching to eventually taking responsibility for various procedures and duties (covid vaccines, injections, wound care). We valued the level of support we received regarding our education in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, traditions, and health care which was delivered to us by our team leaders, valued staff members and those within the community. We loved being able to take part in staff experiences and felt like we were truly included within the WACHS family. Thank you for having us, Dilan


Sally Brown discusses the significance of storytelling for Aboriginal children in remote and regional NSW

- Friday, June 18, 2021
WACHS - Sally Brown

A PAEDIATRIC occupational therapist from Wellington is helping young Aboriginal children cope with life experiences through storytelling.

Paediatric occupational therapist at the Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service (WACHS), Sally Brown delivered a virtual presentation at the Occupational Therapy Mental Health Forum in Melbourne last November, on the significance of storytelling for Aboriginal children in remote and regional NSW.

In her presentation she used the example of a story she wrote for a child who had suffered a head injury in a car accident. His grandmother who cares for him had identified he had not processed the accident. Ms Brown worked with the child's family to create a number of books, using the child's favourite character, Batman, who undergoes a variety of experiences and feelings relatable to the child. With her ongoing involvement with the child, she has now created four books to help address other challenges related to his changing family circumstances and the long-term effects of the injuries he sustained.

Ms Brown, who had been developing stories in collaboration with parents and carers for the last 10 years, said storytelling helps children identify with their favourite animals or characters and process their experiences, which might be difficult.

"I have been doing these stories for children that are having issues that they're finding hard to process,"
"Reading to children is a really good way to connect with them and make transitions with them, from the busy day to going to sleep."
"For issues that are raw or hard to manage, or hard to even think about, having a third party, so something that they identify with because its a favourite something, and if that favourite something is going through a similar same situation as a child, then they're able to have someone to identify with, have someone who has the same feelings as they have,"
"When you hear the child say, 'that's just like me' or 'I've got that too', you know that they've identified with it, and are able to use that to process something that's difficult."

Ms Brown however said this type of therapy takes time, and requires a relationship and knowledge of the child experiencing these developmental emotional and psychological issues. She said it was also important to collaborate with parents and caregivers to help create the stories, as they were crucial to helping the child process.

"For small children, you don't often have to have a fix-it, for them to be understood and acknowledged is often a really good place to start to grow and develop beyond that."

This article was written by Zaarkacha Marlan for The Daily Liberal

South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits

- Friday, June 18, 2021

Our Quit B Fit team in partnership with South’s Cares conducted a roadshow to local Dubbo schools prior to the game being held at Apex Oval, Dubbo. With over 2,000 school students seen they discussed Tackling Indigenous Smoking, Souths Cares Mental Health and Wellbeing and also conducted a football clinic for all to join in. Some of the schools visited included Dubbo West Public School, Dubbo South Public School, Orana Heights Public School, St Johns College and Buninyong Public School.

WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs and QBF School Visits

South Sydney Rabbitohs Come To Dubbo

- Friday, June 18, 2021

The South Sydney Rabbitohs hosted a home game at Dubbo on the 23rd May at Apex Oval and as WACHS are a sponsor of the South Sydney Rabbitohs this year, we had our Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program, Australian Children’s Therapy Team and Quit B Team exhibit at the game. Our half time activation involved spectators at the game filling in the pledge to quit smoking and 5 names were drawn out of the hat to participate in the events on field at half time of the main game. All participants received a prize and the winner will be going to the State Of Origin game in Sydney with South Sydney Rabbitohs. Darren Ah See also did the coin toss for the game.

WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs Come To Dubbo
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs Come To Dubbo
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs Come To Dubbo
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs Come To Dubbo
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs Come To Dubbo
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs Come To Dubbo
WACHS South Sydney Rabbitohs Come To Dubbo

New WACHS Specialist Board Members

- Wednesday, June 16, 2021
WACHS - Joe Coyte

Joe Coyte

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m a proud ‘Country Boy’ who was born in Lithgow, and then lived in Tamworth, Glen Innes and The NSW Central Coast as a kid. I have been on the NSW Central Coast since I was 13 to this day.

I had a happy childhood with my Mum and Dad and 3 siblings (even though we didn’t have much material things). I then lost my Mum to cancer when I was 12 and the effect that had on myself and my family was massive. I think this event has played a huge role in how I have raised my family (I am happily married with 3 kids aged 13, 16 and 18) and also the direction my career took as I have worked in Drug and Alcohol Sector since I was 20 years old. This happened as I was lucky enough to meet a man named Cyril Hennessy (who started The Glen Centre for Men) and he gave me an opportunity. I have since tried to learn as much as I can, and I also try to teach others if I think I can add some value or offer some help.

Why did you nominate to become a board member of WACHS?

I have always liked the style of people and Mob from this country. I have spent some time in Dubbo and Wellington for work and personal purposes over the years and I have meet plenty of great people from this area. There is also many Mob on the NSW Central Coast where I live.

What do you think you will be able to bring to the board and the organisation?

I think there is so much good amongst some obvious challenges, and I try and be a solution focused person and help where I can. The skills I have developed over the years regarding my work at The Glen, The Glen for Women and also the accreditation work with many AMS over NSW means I feel I have some skills and knowledge that can help.

What are you looking forward to the most?

I love testing ideas, I love meeting people, I love yarning and I love eating (all sorts of food)



Stephen Hirst

WACHS - Stephen Hirst

Tell us a little about yourself

Hi my name’s Steve, I’m married to Toni (who must be the most patient person in the world) we have 5 adult children between us. Toni and I have travelled and lived extensively throughout regional NSW due to my work, which has been with Fire and Rescue NSW for just shy of 40 years. My current role is Area Commander of Regional West which covers the majority of the State. We enjoy getting away in our Campervan as much as possible and adventuring to new places. Although I grew up in Sydney my maternal Grandfather was born in Wellington in 1910.

Why did you nominate to become a board member of WACHS?

We have put down roots in the Dubbo Area (Wongarbon). I have been looking for a community-based organisation to become involved with; by chance I saw the WACHS advertisement in the local paper and the opportunity immediately caught my interest.

What do you think you will be able to bring to the board and the organisation?

I believe that I have a sound understanding of effective governance and probity in the Government sector as well as Treasury budget allocations for Capital and Recurrent funding.

What are you looking forward to the most?

The reward of being a board member that offers both challenges and opportunities to positively influence the health service delivery strategies for the indigenous people and communities of New South Wales.

Sorry Day 2021

- Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Quit Be Fit Team were in the Dubbo City Centre celebrating Sorry Day on the 26th May. Clients were able to take a pledge to quit smoking in their homes, cars and workplaces and went in the draw to win prizes on the day.

WACHS - Sorry Day 2021

South Sydney Rabbitohs Business Connect Breakfast

- Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Our staff members, Janet, Emma , Jelis and Jodie attended the Business Connect Breakfast at the Crown Casino in Sydney which was attended by other companies that also support The South Sydney Rabbitohs. There were several guest speakers and networking with other guests during the breakfast.

WACHS - South Sydney Rabbitohs Business Connect Breakfast

Annual Report Art Competition

Reliance Technology - Monday, November 30, 2020

Our Annual Report Art Competition saw many entries this year from Western Sydney and Wellington High Schools.

Our winner was Lilly Nolan from Wellington High School and her painting is now the cover of our 2020 Annual Report.

Second place was awarded to Reaghan Bunn from Emu Plains Public School and 3rd was Wyatt Bush from Wellington High School.

Each winner will receive a gift card and certificate with a canvas copy of their paintings.

WACHS Annual Report Art Competition

First Place – Lilly Nolan

WACHS Annual Report Art Competition

Second Place - Reaghan Bunn

WACHS Annual Report Art Competition

Third Place Wyatt Bush

Helping kids Engage in Telehealth Therapy

- Friday, November 27, 2020

Telehealth has been integral part of ACTT service delivery in 2020, allowing continuous service delivery to clients, especially during COVID-19 when our face-to-face therapy sessions were suspended.

Engaging kids in telehealth therapy has proven a challenging process for ACTT clients, as we moved from face-to-face appointments to providing services over the internet and phone. To support clients and families in therapy sessions ACTT created therapy packs. These packs are designed to be used during therapy sessions with children and their family.

During a face-to-face therapy, a therapist can entice the child to interact in a therapy session by having toys, games, and activities that they know children like. In telehealth the families support the children to engage in sessions. Packs are tailored to children’s interests in order to integrate therapy resources into sessions. For example, children can mould the ‘theraputty’ to help them identify how they are feeling, or build strength in their hands to support with hand writing and fine motor skill development. The therapist can read a book with the child or draw together. In addition, therapists have begun to use screen sharing games to support therapy goals.

Therapy Packs have have been well received by clients and their families. Parents report that children loved receiving their own parcel and all the things inside and therapists feel that the packs have helped to build rapport with the child and family during sessions.

When a block of therapy finishes, our Aboriginal Community and Therapy Support Workers prepare an “end of therapy pack”. This pack contains ideas to keep working on at home, such as sound cards, a summary of therapy goals and strategies.

ACTT Welcome to Therapy Pack

ACTT Welcome to Therapy Pack

Preparing therapy packs to be sent to clients beginning therapy sessions with ACTT therapists

Preparing therapy packs to be sent to clients beginning therapy sessions with ACTT therapists

Congratulations – End of therapy packs

Congratulations – End of therapy packs

NAIDOC Celebrations at St Mary’s Catholic School

Reliance Technology - Friday, November 27, 2020

Our Quit B Fit team attended the NAIDOC Day celebrations at St Mary’s Catholic School during November and we had current NRL players Tyrell Fuimaono, Braidon Burns, Will Kennedy and Braydon Trindall present on the day to participate with the kids. They played ball games with the kids, threw boomerangs and tasted the bush tucker.

WACHS - Quit B Fit at St Marys Catholic School
WACHS - Quit B Fit at St Marys Catholic School
WACHS - Quit B Fit at St Marys Catholic School
WACHS - Quit B Fit at St Marys Catholic School
WACHS - Quit B Fit at St Marys Catholic School
WACHS - Quit B Fit at St Marys Catholic School
WACHS - Quit B Fit at St Marys Catholic School
WACHS - Quit B Fit at St Marys Catholic School

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