The Wak Wakko Doctors had a huge day at Nunkuwarrin Yunti in Adelaide with visits from two Ngangkari (Traditional Healers) Debbie Watson and Margaret Richards. They were accompanied by Inawinytji Williamson. Aboriginal Doctors, Dr Jon Newchurch and Dr Kali Hayward facilitated a range of interactive learnings which included plastering and surgery, while the Ngankeri shared some learnings with the young participants. Our Director, Sonia Waters, commented “I will never forget this day. This is what Malpa is all about. Our young people learning both our old ways and new ways, and how they come together. I hope that one day, in 10-15 years time, I will hear that these young Wak Wakko Doctors have gone on to study Medicine, because we need loving and caring souls like them to be our next generation of Doctors, or health professionals.”
This week was rather exciting the Wakwakko Doctors met Seamus Evans from Network Ten’s Totally Wild, it was a blast. We learnt lots of great information about reptiles, what to do if you are bitten by a snake or lizard and we learnt that Monitor Lizards don’t have venom but a bacteria that causes an infection that makes the wound take a long time to heal. Some of the Doctors were brave and held a monitor lizard. One of the Young Doctors, Dr Jade said “I got to hold the monitor lizard and it licked my face. It gave me and my friends lots of good memories. I love Wakwakko Doctors and wish we could do it everyday”
We are honoured to announce that Sonia Waters and Rex Granites Japanangka have joined our Board. They bring rich and unique perspectives to our work. Rex is a Senior Warlpiri lawman and keeper of the Mina Mina Dreaming who headed the Central Lands Council. He works tirelessly for his people. Sonia’s traditional connections have been broken by the stolen generation policies but she vigorously and creatively works for Aboriginal people in South Australia and beyond.
Julie Power’s article in SMH June 26 2015. “I told mum that white bread has sugar in it, and she didn’t know that. Now she is buying the one with seeds in it,” said eight-year-old Wilson Ware, who is learning to be a Dhalayi (child) doctor at St Joseph’s Primary School in Kempsey. These ambassadors for better health are nagging parents and friends to keep themselves and their homes clean, smoke outside, buy healthier food, blow their noses properly, urging them to get medical help and helping them navigate the local hospital and health system. Please Read More and share.
The Wak Wakko Doctors project in Aldinga, SA, is already proving a great success. The Young Doctors are saying “Why can’t we do this everyday?”. In early August senior Ngangkari (Traditional healers) will come from the APY lands in northern South Australia to work with western doctors and show the young people how traditional and western medicine work together.
Sammi and Garth Fatnowna have provided Induction training at Berkeley West PS in the Illawarra. They are currently deciding on their project name. Another Ngargin Doctor project at Albion Park Rail PS is in the planning stages for Term 3. Four new projects start in the Macleay Valley and discussions have started so we may have as many as five in Gippsland, Victoria.
More Young Doctors graduated recently at Stuart’s Point PS, Kempsey East PS, St Joseph’s PS, Kempsey West PS and at Barrack Heights PS, Illawarra.
All schools report significantly improved school attendance and the Young Doctors are really making a difference to the overall life of their school communities. The most commonly heard comment from Principals, parents and students was “Why can’t we do this all year?” “We don’t want this project to finish!”
SMH comes to Kempsey
Julie Power, a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald, has been taking a special interest in Indigenous issues across NSW and came, with Peter Rae, her photographer to cover Young Doctor projects at St Joseph’s PS and the graduation ceremony at Stuarts Point PS.
From Term 3 onwards all our projects will be systematically evaluated. There will be qualitative and quantitative evaluation so that we can constantly improve what we do and identify the real successes so all projects can build on the things that really work. It is also important to look at any barriers and see how we can best support and provide sustainable and workable models of delivery to the Community and foremost for tomorrows future….our students
Troy Tungai, our Project Leader for Ngargin Doctors at Barrack Heights, had his inspirational work recognised with the AustralianSuper Career KickStart Award.
At a glittering ceremony in Sydney’s Masonic Hall Troy was presented with his prize at the inaugural NSW /ACT Young Achievers Awards.
The evening was shared with his parents Troy and Veronica and his malpas – Chris Mangos (mentor and Ngargin Doctor’s Manager), Sammi Fatnowna (National Project Manager), Sarah Rudling (Principal of Barrack Heights PS), Aunty Patty Roberts (respected Elder and frequent visitor to the Ngargin Doctor program), his friend Michael Pixton, Deborah and Don Palmer (CEO).
Congratulations, Troy. We are so proud of you.
Malpa is excited to announce we will be working with twenty six communities in 2015. Communities in NSW, SA, Queensland and NSW will train more than 400 Young Doctors. This means that by 2016 there will be 650 Young Doctors in remote, regional and urban communities making a real difference.
Malpa’s Medical Advisor Dr Howard Goldenberg commented “This might cause an outbreak of good health”
Thanks to all our supporters who voted for Malpa for a grant from Medibank. We were successful and the funding will make a significant difference to our work in Victoria.
We are also pleased to announce that Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen corporation has made a significant commitment to our work. Johnson and Johnson are major supporters of the child doctors projects in Bangladesh where 1.2 million young people are being trained.
National Project Manager, Sammi Fatnowna, fills us in on what has been happening during the last few months…
In July we all enjoyed the success of the first Ngargin Doctor group graduation at Barrack Heights PS. Local newspapers were present and ran a great feature story. The students were very confident in demonstrating their skills and talking about what they had learnt during the ceremony. It was heartening to see so many parents at the ceremony. Two grandparents had been so excited about the ocassion that they travelled two hours to be part of it. Barrack Heights have begun a second cohort of students who will graduate in December. read more »
“I haven’t been this excited in a long time to see this younger generation so involved” says Traditional Knowledge Keeper Anthony Green.
Anthony was part of the Ngargin Doctor Program in Barrack Heights looking at old and new medications. The sessions at the school and in the bush were recently filmed for NITV and SBS News. read more »