Meekatharra community voices shape local healthcare
The remote town of Meekatharra has its fair share of challenges, but having a say in the most appropriate primary care services is no longer one of them, thanks to the strong voice of the Meekatharra Aboriginal Reference Group (MARG).
By working closely with MARG, WA Primary Health Alliance's Midwest team has been able to listen and respond to local needs by funding primary care services and health workers to deliver culturally appropriate, accessible and effective treatment and support.
MARG Elder, Adeline Gilla said, "I am very happy and proud of MARG and what it is doing for Meekatharra. To see the Aboriginal flag flying very high in Meekatharra shows we have come a long way. MARG has some wonderful people and supporters too. I can see positive changes and how MARG is connecting the dots."
Department of Communities Regional Services Reform Unit, Director Regional Coordination, Jamie Strickland said, "MARG is a great example of how government and other relevant stakeholders can sit down and hear from the Aboriginal community about what matters to them.
"Often it's not about throwing more money at issues, it's about listening to the community and seeing how we can work together to make things better.
"To see how MARG has grown and is making positive changes in Meekatharra is inspirational and perhaps an approach that could be used in other locations."
WAPHA Country Operations Manager, Jodie Green said "with guidance from MARG, we are commissioning to local needs, with four new services embedded in the community to deal with the priority health issues they identified.
"I am proud of the special relationship my colleagues and I have with MARG and its members and it's great to work with the community in such a genuine way.
"To celebrate their achievements, WAPHA were delighted to support the production of a documentary video that we hope will inspire other communities and agencies to work together similarly."