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Closing the Gap

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Closing the Gap

‚ÄčIt's National Close the Gap Day.

Western Health has an important role to play in overcoming inequality experienced by our First Nations people and achieve life outcomes equal to non-Indigenous Australians.

One of the ways we do this is through the delivery of culturally responsive care options that ensure our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients receive respectful, high-quality care with greater access and choice.

  • The Galinjera Maternity Program is a small team of dedicated midwives and doctors, who provide culturally-safe continuous care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and babies.

  • The award-winning Babaneek Booboop Program supports children and their families in their engagement with child health and promotes cultural safety in health.     

  • The award-winning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outpatient Clinic creates a culturally-sensitive environment where patients feel safe and supported to attend their medical appointments.

  • Wilim Berrbang, our team who offer cultural support and assistance to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Wilim Berrbang Manager (Acting) Ashleigh Vandenberg and Wiradjuri woman said that everyone has a part to play in helping us achieve health equity for all Australians.

"We all have a role to play in closing the gap and our actions can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and society more broadly," Ashleigh said.

Western Health has appointed our first Aboriginal Mental Health Liaison Officer in Wilim Berrbang to improve the way we support consumers and their families seeking support with their mental health and wellbeing.

Maddie is from the Yorta Yorta & Dja Dja Warrung clan and she is passionate about ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel heard within the healthcare system

She works within our wonderful Wilim Berrbang team who offer cultural support and assistance to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

To improve the way we support consumers and their families seeking support with their mental health and wellbeing, Western Health has appointed our first Aboriginal Mental Health Liaison Officer in Wilim Berrbang.

Maddie DePetro is from the Yorta Yorta & Dja Dja Warrung clan and is passionate about ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel heard within the healthcare system.

Maddie said that her role is crucial to providing culturally-sensitive support to patients.

"I focus on a culturally safe practice and providing person-centred care within healthcare settings," Maddie said.

"Part of this involves engaging with patients and families to ensure they are on board with the patient's care plan, while also advocating for patient's mental health and wellbeing and providing them a link to community."

Maddie said that in the past some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients have felt unheard

"I want to change this experience for patients and their families. I hope to work within the community to help them understand that Western Health is intent on making a difference to close the gap.

"I am passionate about helping patients and their families that are living with a mental illness, or who have faced a mental health crisis.

"Seeing a patient progress and knowing they feel supported and heard that is what success looks like for me."