Cul­ture takes cen­trestage

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

NAIDOC Week cel­e­bra­tions were in full swing right across the re­gion last week, with nu­mer­ous events high­light­ing Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der cul­ture, tra­di­tions and achieve­ments.

A St John Am­bu­lance ini­tia­tive to bet­ter en­gage with re­gional and re­mote Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties in WA has been in­tro­duced to the Pil­bara town of Onslow dur­ing NAIDOC Week 2016 cel­e­bra­tions.

The St John Abo­rig­i­nal Am­bu­lance Ser­vices Project aims to en­cour­age greater par­tic­i­pa­tion in first-aid train­ing and the am­bu­lance ser­vices among re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

Funded by Roy­al­ties for Re­gions, the pro­gram’s cen­tre­piece is a uniquely de­signed am­bu­lance em­bla­zoned with art­work by renowned artist Ji­lalga Mur­ray rep­re­sent­ing fig­ures com­ing to­gether through the ser­vices of St John.

The Abo­rig­i­nal-de­signed am­bu­lance is part-way through a 12-month tour of re­gional WA, hav­ing al­ready vis­ited the Gold­fields and Mid West.

Dur­ing NAIDOC Week, St John vol­un­teers and am­bu­lance of­fi­cers have run first-aid train­ing ses­sions with school­child­ren in Onslow as well as work­ing closely with the Bu­ura­bal­ayji Tha­lanyji Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion.

St John North West re­gional man­ager An­drew Graf­fen said the Abo­rig­i­nal Am­bu­lance Ser­vices Project was an im­por­tant ini­tia­tive aimed at forg­ing closer re­la­tion­ships with in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.

“This project is im­por­tant as it en­cour­ages more peo­ple to learn first-aid skills, while forg­ing au­then­tic re­la­tion­ships with re­gional and re­mote Abo­rig­i­nal groups,” he said.

The Bu­ura­bal­ayji Tha­lanyji Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion marked NAIDOC Week by se­cur­ing am­bu­lance cover for their 60-plus mem­ber­ship to en­sure they are cov­ered for am­bu­lance use in an emer­gency.

BTAC chief ex­ec­u­tive Matthew Slack said it would in­vite St John to de­liver more first-aid pro­grams.

The St John Abo­rig­i­nal-de­signed am­bu­lance will con­tinue from Onslow to tour the Pil­bara and Kimberly for the re­main­der of 2016.

Pic­ture: GT Me­dia

A St John Am­bu­lance ve­hi­cle em­bla­zoned with art­work by renowned artist Ji­lalga Mur­ray.

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