DHALAYI DOCTOR LEADERS
Garth Fatnowna has taken over facilitating the Dhalayi Doctor project for the Kempsey area now that Aaron has moved on. Garth is of aboriginal and islander SSI descent and brings a wealth of experience to this position. He is an infants primary teacher who has worked in a variety of schools and settings over his 20+ year career. He has also held high consultancy positions in TAFE and education departments over the years. He is also Malpa’s Project Manager, Sammi’s, husband. He has been unwell since 2010 with cancer but is on the road to recovery now. We are very excited to have Garth on board and know he will bring great things to the Malpa Project.
New programs have now started at Aldavilla and Kempsey South and Garth has brought lots of new ideas to the table as well as bringing his musicality into play. A range of guest speakers have also been booked in to speak to our Dhalayi Doctors this term.
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR 2014
We are pleased to be back at Aldavilla and starting in South Kempsey this first term and gearing up for Broadmeadows in Victoria, Barrack Heights near Wollongong and several locations in Western Australia in term two. There was a rush for places at Aldavilla and the local team will deliver more projects over the year so no-one misses out.
DHALAYI DOCTOR GRADUATION IN BELLBROOK
This week our first set of Dhalayi Doctors from the Kempsey region graduated.
The group from Bellbrook took great pride in finishing the program and receiving their graduation certificates in front of Elders, parents and school mates.
Uncle Bob Mumbler, CEO of the Dunghutti Elders Corporation, welcomed everyone to Country and presented the awards. A ceremony involving the passing of knowledge from elder to leader to student took centre stage at the event.
After a successful treatment for nits was discovered in the first few weeks of the program – Tea Tree and olive oil – our Dhalayi Doctors help successfully treat the entire school and have felt invigorated by everything they’ve learnt. This week they even approached teachers asking what they should do about the cases of conjunctivitis they had spotted amongst their peers. This is exactly what the Malpa Project stands for, we want our Young Doctors to feel empowered to make a positive change in their community.
Special thanks Sammi Fatnowna and Aaron Ralph for their inspirational leadership. They are now working their magic at Aldavilla PS.
Visit facebook.com/malpaproject for more photos.
UTOPIA: OUTBREAK OF HEALTH
A Malpa milestone was reached recently when Don Palmer went to Utopia for the first Young Doctor graduation ceremony.
The project had originally employed two Alyawarre leaders and two Elders to train fifteen Umbarkalya Doctors one afternoon a week. But there was a surprise. Rosabella Long and Roselyn Turner had actually been taking four sessions a week and there were thirty nine doctors from Soakage Bore and Soapy Bore eager to graduate!
Malpa’s medical advisor, Dr Howard Goldenberg, wryly commented that “the kid doctors are multiplying and you and they might just be responsible for an outbreak of health”!
Under some beautiful white gums the Elders presented each of the children with a beanie made in the colors of the Aboriginal flag and bearing the words “Umbarkalya Doctor – Malpa”. Each child also received a formal certificate of achievement and graduation.
Then the graduates led a bush tucker hunt and many fat witchety grubs were gathered from out of the roots of the dry scrub. The children were so proud of their certificates that many of them took them along on the hunt.
Over the ten week course the children have learned about leadership, nutrition, environmental health, health literacy and hygiene. They gathered bush medicines and hunted for healthy bush food including kangaroo, perrente (large, meter long lizards) and bush turkey.
All the team deserve congratulations for their enthusiasm and commitment and the fact that they have adapted the program to meet their specific local needs.
Our leaders will now start preparing to run the project at nearby Boundary Bore and Thommyhawk Swamp.