Dr Rosemary Wyber started her training in remote placements which meant working and living in remote communities, immersed in Yolngu Aboriginal culture and the Yolngu Matha language
“It was an opportunity to see community controlled health care in action and put into practice a kind service delivery model which is directed by and best meets the need of the community”.
“I chose to train in the NT because my personal and research interests are in providing care to vulnerable populations. And working in community controlled health service in the NT provided an opportunity to see a gold standard delivery of care”.
“My first year of GPR training remotely on Elcho Island off the coast of NE Arnhem land and then Nhulunbuy, a mining town surrounded by a number of Indigenous communities”
Rosemary worked full time in a Community Controlled Aboriginal Health Service called Miwatj which provides care for Yolngu patients in Arnhem Land.
When asked about the challenges of a remote placement Rosemary replied “living in small, remote communities means being a part of the community sometimes in ways that are confronting. In Galiwin’ku, the main community on Elcho Island, there are two shops and they are a frequent location for opportunistic consults and follow up appointments and occasional social complexities with colleagues and patients. Life and work are more intense and complicated and sustainability is a challenge for all remote staff”.
Rosemary describes her time in Elcho Island as “genuinely seeing care delivered within the setting of the community and being part of a team where everyone is invested in the outcomes. Because there aren’t other service providers and health need is so high, the commitment of the whole clinic from drivers to reception staff Aboriginal Health Practitioners to visiting specialists and families is so different and so inspiring relative to an urban mainstream practice.”
When asked about how her remote placements influenced her training she replied “my remote experiences renewed my commitment to working with vulnerable populations and the opportunities to complete further training in urban Aboriginal health services has provided a valuable contrast.
My long term interest in health systems, service delivery and community based research has been strengthened.”