Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 7 June 2018) . . Page.. 2240 ..
I wish to express my thanks to Joe Bailey, the president of the association, and to all the other men and women who serve alongside him. I hope that the next 25 years will bring nothing but success to Canberra’s Anglo-Indian community and to all those whom they support and serve.
Winnunga Nimmityjah—30th birthday
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (4.38): I rise today to praise the efforts of the team at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service and to highlight some of their achievements. I was privileged to attend the 30th birthday of Winnunga on 12 May. It was a fantastic celebration and provided lots of good, old-fashioned fun entertainment, including a petting zoo, a giant rock-climbing wall, face painting, fairy floss, fresh food, pizza and, of course, delicious coffee.
There was also an amazing birthday cake, but most of all there was a warm and very positive community spirit. It was truly a celebration of all the forward steps taken and all the efforts put in by members of the Canberra Indigenous community. Since becoming the shadow minister for Indigenous affairs, I have learnt that this community has a big heart. They want to see their people do better and they are willing to put in the hard work to make it happen.
Winnunga is the perfect example of this story of the heart and the hard work that they do. Winnunga was established in 1988 by local Aboriginal people inspired by the national mobilisation of people around the opening of the new Parliament House and a visit by the Queen. The late Olive Brown, an inspirational figure, saw the need to set up a temporary medical service at the tent embassy site in Canberra. This paved the way to the beginnings of Winnunga.
In the beginning, Mrs Brown enlisted the support of a doctor, a registered nurse and a midwife. Soon after that, ACT Health offered Mrs Brown a room in the office behind the Griffin Centre to run a clinic two mornings a week and on Saturdays. Winnunga operated out of this office from 1988 to 1990, during which time the organisation was staffed mostly by volunteers. With just a little bit of funding, by 1991 Winnunga was able to grow and provide a full-time medical practice.
After the sad passing of Mrs Olive Brown in 1993, it was decided to form a health board. From there, the organisation has continued to grow and evolve, despite changing levels of government support, as well as the internal struggles typical of any community-run organisation. The journey from a small medical practice to what Winnunga is able to provide today has not been easy. Perhaps this is what made the 30th birthday celebrations all the more special. It was a recognition of where the community organisation has come from and what it achieves today.
Let us have a look at some of their service outcomes, because I think it is important to highlight the positive stories, to talk about the good work being done and to celebrate the everyday heroes out there doing the hard yards. Winnunga provides essential medical services to clients through GPs, nurses, midwives, dentists, dieticians and many more health professionals. They conduct a wide range of group programs for