Rural GP & Aboriginal health

Posted on 11th Oct 2019

Attending this trip was probably the high-light of my GP career so far! 

I felt so privileged to have the opportunity to escort a group of beautiful Mowanjum people back to their traditional land at Kunmunya, located in a very remote part of the Kimberley in rural Western Australia. This epic journey started off with a two day boat trip up through the Bucaneer Archipelago to staying at Kuri Bay Pearl Farm. We then took a helicopter to the sacred site where we all camped for two nights, before enjoying a scenic helicopter ride back to Derby.

It was such an honour to be invited to be a medical escort for this group of Worrora people. They ranged from teenagers to respected elders, and included a couple of haemodialysis patients. The trip was organised by a group called The Boat Network who have been providing school holiday programs in Mowanjum Community for many years.

I spent a few months preparing for this trip and trying to anticipate what medical situations I may be faced with. Due to the weight restrictions on the helicopter, I had to carefully plan what medical equipment and medications I should take. Even though it was a truly memorable journey, I have to admit that I felt a great sense of relief when everyone returned to Derby in good health!

This unique experience reinforced why I love being a rural generalist working in Aboriginal health.