Every year the teams from Nidjalla Waangan Mia and the Peel Health Campus discuss the events and projects they will work on together. We have had a long standing and strong partnership delivering health to our community. Previously we have worked together on Closing the Gap, NAIDOC and Christmas Pageant events. Due to COVID we had to come up with another way to demonstrate the partnership and joint commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health. The idea came from Kim Wilkinson, George Walley (both from Nidjalla) and Kay Williams (Research Officer & Community Development at Peel Health Campus). Two copies of the base artwork were done by Kerry Stack and then staff at both Nidjalla Waangan Mia and the Peel Health Campus painted meaningful symbols on their respective canvases which were exchanged during NAIDOC Week earlier in the month. “We have clients who use the hospital and there is a lot of work between the NWM team and theirs. This signifies how supportive we are of each other.”
Synopsis by Kerry Stack The pathway and circles represent the journey of Noongar health in the Bindjareb region, the circles represent meeting places (towns) throughout the region. The middle circle /campsite represents where all parties sit down to talk about Noongar health.
The blue and brown hands represent the hands of health services and Noongar hands coming together to close the gap on Noongar health. The figures along the pathway represent the unity symbol, this is Noongar and Wadjela walking in unity to provide better outcomes for Noongar health.
Meaning of symbols painted by Nidjalla Waangan Mia Staff
Kim Davis,Aboriginal Health & Maternity Support Worker – Pregnant Belly with unborn baby. NWM Maternity Program supporting patients during and after their pregnancy journey.
MaddyBrooker, Practice Support Officer – Love heart in open hands. Represents the two communities, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff members coming together.
Nat Newman, Registered Nurse – Quandong branch. Quandong fruit is a Bush Tucker Food, Nat is a passionate cook when she is working as an RN and provides home cooked meals and catering for community events.
VonAgnew, Program Leader – Traditional Aboriginal art representing Family Symbol. Nidjalla staff are like one big family.
Greg Nelson, Transport Officer – Car Keys. As NWM’s transport driver, Greg gets valuable one to one time yarning with clients while transporting them to and from medical appointments.
Travis Thomas, Aboriginal Health Worker – Multi-coloured hands. Representing Diversity, we have a variety of clients who attend Nidjalla and a variety of staff from different parts of Australia.
Deb James, ITC Care Coordinator – Yellow Wattle Bush. The yellow wattle bush is found around Nidjalla and is also a native plant to Australia. It is resilient and provides shelter.
Dr Foss, GP – White Dove. Represents Peace, Purity and Perfection.
Angela Tann, Receptionist – Turtle. The turtle is a symbol on our NWM work shirts.
George Walley, Regional Communications Manager – Silhouette of Father holding spear with his two children Representing our ancestors and their presence still felt at NWM
Michelle Pickett, ITC Aboriginal Outreach Worker – Silhouette of Dolphin. Representing the Peel region.
Dr Walker, GP – Rod of Asclepius and Caduceus: Two Ancient Symbols. The Rod of Asclepius is an ancient Greek symbol associated with medicine, consisting of a serpent coiled around a rod. In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Asclepius was the god of medicine and healing.
Jenny Birkin, Receptionist – Circle with the Tree of Life inside. Representation of Family. The Tree of Life symbol represents our personal development, uniqueness, and individual beauty. Just as the branches of a tree strengthen and grow upwards to the sky, we too grow stronger, striving for greater knowledge, wisdom, and new experiences as we move through life.
Laura Slater-Horner, Registered Nurse – Footprints along the path. Representing communities’ footprints walking towards better health.
Kerry Cabassi, Practice Manager – Circles representing the Third Space. Collaboration of Aboriginal and non – Aboriginal people working together.
Kim Wilkinson, Indigenous Health Promotions Officer & Office Lead – Whale Tail The whale tail symbolizes protection and good luck. The Whale tail symbolizes to me the similarities with our Aboriginal community travelling from one place to another for food, warmer climates, and family matters.
Peel Health Campus Nidjalla Waangan Mia Reconciliation canvas prepared by Kerry Stack 27 October 2020
GP down south is an exemplary not-for-profit community organisation. We have been providing health and wellbeing services in the Peel regions and the South West of WA since 1994.