Hawkesbury District Health Service leaders meet with Aboriginal community to improve health outcomes

More than 30 members of the local Aboriginal community met with Hawkesbury hospital’s leadership group recently during a reconciliation event to build ties between the groups.

The Aboriginal people, including Darug Elder Auntie Edna, spoke with Hawkesbury District Health Service leaders about Aboriginal health outcomes during the morning tea.

Building ties: Hawkesbury hospital's leadership team met with local Aboriginal people to talk about improving their health outcomes. Picture: Anna MacDonald

Building ties: Hawkesbury hospital's leadership team met with local Aboriginal people to talk about improving their health outcomes. Picture: Anna MacDonald

Hawkesbury District Health Service (HDHS) Aboriginal Health Education Officer Vicki Thom said the event was a positive start to building a strong relationship with the community.

“This morning tea was the first step in providing a voice to the community in discussing their most important health issues,” she said.

“Hearing directly from community members is invaluable for us as healthcare providers to shape the services we deliver and how we engage with those in need.”

HDHS Chief Executive Officer Strephon Billinghurst said it was wonderful to see so many Aboriginal leaders providing their insights into the health needs of the community.

“This is a part of our steps towards reconciliation and as a local hospital we think it is essential that we build strong relationships with all groups who access our essential services, in particular the Aboriginal community,” he said.

The success of this first gathering has led to additional events planned with Aboriginal leaders and the hospital’s executives and caregivers throughout the rest of 2019.

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