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