Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt visits Bunbury

South West Aboriginal Medical Service board of directors member Karim Khan presents a message stick to Minister Ken Wyatt.
South West Aboriginal Medical Service board of directors member Karim Khan presents a message stick to Minister Ken Wyatt.

Federal minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt visited Bunbury on Monday and took the opportunity to visit the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) clinic. 

Joined by Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino, Mr Wyatt admired the state-of-the-art clinic and discussed health care challenges affecting the community. 

Ministers Wyatt and Marino met the Clinic on Wheels before a sit down with the SWAMS board of directors and staff to discuss achievements, challenges and future plans. 

SWAMS chief executive officer Lesley Nelson said opportunities to highlight the needs of the Aboriginal community with key politicians were encouraging for the future of targeted health care in the South West. 

“It’s an honour to meet with Minister Wyatt, who is the country’s first Indigenous minister,” Ms Nelson said.

“Our vision is about providing high-quality, holistic and accessible services to the Aboriginal people of the South West and making sure our clients have more opportunities to access support.”

Since opening its new clinic on Forrest Avenue in August 2015, SWAMS has seen a steady increase in client numbers, resulting in boosted health screening rates and regular visits to all clinics.

SWAMS opened its fourth outreach clinic in March, to now operate from Brunswick Junction, Busselton, Collie and Manjimup.

“SWAMS is also focused on bringing specialists to our clinics to help bridge the gap for our clients and community,” Ms Nelson said.

“We recently held an ear, nose and throat clinic with renowned Clinical Professor Harvey Coates, which saw more than 30 children attend.

“SWAMS supports Aboriginal health through a range of tailored programs and services, we are committed to being able to provide quality health care – it’s a vital need.” 

Mr Wyatt was born at Roelands Mission farm and entered the federal parliament in 2010 as the Member for Hasluck. Prior to entering Parliament, Wyatt served as Director of the WA office of Aboriginal Health as well as a similar post with NSW Health.

For more information about SWAMS, visit swams.com.au