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Aboriginal Health Service
Islanders
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Acknowledgement of Country

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Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) Aboriginal Health Service (AHS) would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which our health services have been built, the Gaimaraigal, Guringai and Dharug peoples and we honour and pay our respects to their ancestors.


NSLHD also acknowledges and pays respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to Elders past, present and emerging.


We acknowledge that past, current and future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the continuing custodians of this country upon which we live, work and meet and that it is from their blood, courage, pride and dignity that we are able to continue to live, work and meet on this ancient and sacred country.

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Who we are

The Aboriginal Health Service (AHS) is based at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) and works within the boundaries of the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 

The AHS is the only Aboriginal-specific health service within Northern Sydney and advocates for better health outcomes through the implementation of policies and local strategic health plans.

 

The Aboriginal Health Service Team is led by proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Adjunct Associate Professor Peter Shine is a Gomeroi man from north-western NSW and is the Director of the service. He has worked and been involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and social-emotional wellbeing for over 20 years.

 

Paul Weir is the Deputy Director and has worked on many projects for the NSLHD Aboriginal Health Service, some of which include the Aboriginal Health Service Needs Analysis, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men's Health Plan, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services Plan 2017-2022 and the NSLHD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Self-Assessment tool. In addition, Paul has worked closely with oral health services to pilot an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral health program.

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They are supported by: Tavia Bernsdorff - Executive Officer, Kuibuz Adidi - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Manager, Mary Florance - CNC, Ruby Van Kool - Integrated Team Care, Barbara Triantafilis - Registered Nurse, Jami Seale - Registered Nurse, Mervyn Holmes-Wighton - Aboriginal Population Health Trainee, Melinda Flower - Aboriginal Liaison Officer, and Adam Cryer - Project Manager Community Inclusion and Capacity Building.


 

​They are committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people using our health services have access to culturally safe, respectful, sensitive and appropriate care. 


 

The team work from the Aboriginal definition of health and treat patients holistically:
“Aboriginal health means not just the physical well-being of an individual but refers to the social, emotional and cultural well-being of the whole Community in which each individual is able to achieve their full potential as a human being thereby bringing about the total well-being of their Community"

 

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What we do

 

The AHS can assist in coordinating and providing advice on matters relating to improving the health and social and emotional wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

The AHS provides consultation and advice to health services across NSLHD that engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. This enables the provision of culturally safe and respectful services to the community.

 

Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO)

 

The Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO) provides social, emotional and cultural support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients admitted to hospitals across Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD).

The ALO can accompany patients when talking to heath professionals to understand medical procedures and link them in with appropriate services and support programs.

 

48- hour Follow-up

 

A 48-hour follow-up service is provided by a Registered Nurse (RN) to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients discharged from hospital within NSLHD. The RN will call to check in with how patients are coping post-discharge, ensure they understand discharge instructions and assist with linking in to appropriate services.

 

Community Wellbeing

 

We run a range of activities through the year to keep mob healthy and staying connected. To stay up to date, visit our Facebook page or get in touch with the service.

A Women’s Health & Wellness Day is run twice a year which provides a chance to get valuable health checks and meet other community members.

The NSLHD Aboriginal Health Service Men`s Yarning Tea are focused around identifying men`s needs and what they would like to come out of the men`s community gatherings. We provide an opportunity to connect or reconnect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to community and services as well as providing as culturally safe and respectful space to open up and yarn without judgement.

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Asking The Question

The Ask the Question animation is a video aimed at encouraging all staff across NSLHD to understand the importance of identification of consumers and clients of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin to ensure we deliver culturally appropriate care.