Primary Matters – 3 June 2020

In This Together: National Reconciliation Week 2020

To mark the commencement of National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June), Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) held an insightful and moving video conference for staff with special guest speakers Belinda Duarte and Tania Dalton. These two incredible Aboriginal leaders held a discussion with WVPHN staff about the significance of National Reconciliation Week as a vehicle for exploration into true reconciliation for Australia through the sharing of histories, cultures and achievements, with the utmost respect for the land we live on and its traditional owners.

Belinda Duarte is a Wotjobaluk and Dja Dja Wurrung woman and has held a range of appointed and voluntary positions including the position of Co-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria and Ambassador for Reconciliation Victoria, advocating for Aboriginal self-determination and building stronger relationships.

Tania Dalton is a proud Gunditjmara/Wathaurong woman from Victoria who is a registered psychologist with a Masters in Health Science and Masters in Behavioural Science. Tania is the Chair of Board of Directors and a founding member of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) and has led the development and implementation of AIPA’s Cultural Competence workshops for mental health practitioners.

WVPHN is currently developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in consultation with Tania and other Aboriginal community members and organisations across western Victoria with a focus on hearing their stories and gathering information about their experiences. This information will be consolidated to provide future directions for WVPHN and our primary health care providers.

In Capable Hands

Following Rowena Clift’s appointment as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WVPHN and with her commencement imminent, I would like to congratulate and thank the western Victorian primary health care sector and indeed the community for responding to the pandemic so effectively during my tenure as Acting CEO since early April 2020.

Rowena knows WVPHN as well as any, having worked with us for three years as Director of Service and System Integration prior to her secondment as Acting CEO at Ballan District Health and Care for the last year. Most importantly, Rowena understands the challenges faced by primary health care in rural and remote western Victoria and the leadership experience she has acquired from over 20 years working in acute and primary health care ensures that the region’s future is in the right hands.  Welcome back Rowena!

 

Tony Ficca

Acting CEO