How did the Aboriginal Medical Service's begin? PDF Print E-mail

The first AMS was founded in Redfern in 1971 - not from Government handouts, but from donations from non-Aboriginal supporters of  Aboriginal rights.  Judges, Ministers, Teacher and Church people formed the core of this support.  Their actions came from their  observation of the less than acceptable level of health services available to Aboriginal peoples.

The second AMS opened its doors in 1972, and now there are more than 100 nation wide. Locally, the Aboriginal community of Walgett started lobbying for an AMS in the late 70's.

Brewarrina Aboriginal Health Service Limited (BAHSL) has opened its door again to provide a much needed health care delivery to Aboriginal people living in the town and district.

This has been made possible through the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Co-operative Ltd (WAMS) accepting an invitation from the OATSIH within the Department of Health & Ageing, to auspice the health service and to commence the training and management program that will transfer administrative skills to the organisation.

This development has been agreed to by the boards of both Aboriginal organisations. The Board of BAHSL acknowledges the commitment from WAMS in assuming this demandin g task and is pleased with the response from the Community with daily increases in the numberof patients using the Health Service.

WAMS are working with a local Board of Directors to ensure that the needs of the local community are met. The tasks WAMS have been allocated to conduct are:

  • Prepare the building for re-opening – repair and renovate.

  • Check equipment for safety, purchase new equipment as identified.

  • Offer clinical services working with staff from the local Health Service.

  • Recruit staff to operate the service as a local Aboriginal Community Controlled organisation.

WAMS will be working with members of the Brewarrina community on this project for three years. You will have noticed people working at the premises during this year. It is anticipated that their will be clinical staff available at the Service on specified days in August to commencebasic health assessment, referrals and care.

WAMS thank the community for their patience and look forward to working with them in the future.

GEORGE FERNANDO
CHAIRPERSON, BOARD OF DIRECTORS. 
July 2004.