The 2021 Administrator’s Medals in Primary Health Care were presented Wednesday evening, 1 September 2021 during an official reception at Government House.
The medals recognise and reward health professionals, teams and whole practices/health services for their significant contribution to the provision of primary health care in the Northern Territory.
Our 2021 recipients are:
Individual Medal – Patricia Nundhirribala – Numbulwar Primary Health Centre
Team Medal – The Vaccination Service team at Danila Dilba Health Service
Whole of Practice/Health Service Medal – Danila Dilba Health Service
Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AO, Administrator of the Northern Territory, said “The Administrator’s Medals in Primary Health Care, now in their 14th year, recognise and celebrate achievements at all levels of the primary health care sector and acknowledge the positive impact of those achievements on patients, in our communities and across the Territory as a whole.
All of this year’s recipients are committed to providing exceptional primary health care, and have adapted their practice in the face of coronavirus to addressing the primary health care concerns of our most vulnerable Territorians.
I congratulate and thank each of this year’s recipients for their commitment to making a difference every day.”
Nominations were received for people, teams and practices/services from right across the Territory. The nominations covered a diverse range of specialty areas, including Aboriginal health practitioners, nursing, dentistry, medicine and occupational therapy.
NT Primary Health Network Chief Executive Officer, Ms Gill Yearsley said, “It’s been a challenging year for everyone working in health and the passion and commitment these individuals and teams demonstrate, is fantastic and critical to an integrated primary health care system. On behalf of the judging panel I congratulate all nominees, finalists and recipients. The work that these teams undertake is often behind the scenes, yet essential to providing holistic care and improving health outcomes, Territory-wide. As a panel, we were impressed by the calibre of nominations received this year.”
More information on the winners:
Patricia Nundhirribala, Numbulwar Primary Health Centre: Patricia has played a critical role in supporting her community, particularly in two key areas – COVID-19 preparedness and preventable chronic conditions management. Patricia’s role is innovative in that it’s the first time an Aboriginal Health Practitioner has taken on the chronic disease portfolio. Patricia has been instrumental in redesigning the role to fit the community’s needs and desires including developing educational resources in language, engaging family and community groups for health and establishing a home visiting program for disengaged clients with chronic conditions. The panel recognised Patricia for her outstanding commitment to improving health in her local community and for the patient-centred care strategies she has developed for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal clients. She has been a great advocate for her patients and demonstrated a holistic and integrated approach which incorporates both western medicine and traditional health practices.
The Vaccination Service Team at Danila Dilba: Danila Dilba, as the only Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in Darwin, provides a broad range of services and has been instrumental in the Territory’s COVID-19 response. As the main non-government vaccine provider in the Darwin area, their work has included setting up as a COVID-19 test centre and meeting the rigorous requirements of the Australian Government to fulfil that role, as delivering vaccinations. As of late July, the vaccination service had delivered approximately 3960 vaccines, representing almost 4% of the Territory’s vaccinations at that point in time. Danila Dilba’s vaccine service is provided in a culturally safe environment by their Aboriginal staff who are both culturally and linguistically diverse. The team also engaged with local homeless and vulnerable people to ensure a whole of community response and so that this group of our population were not an afterthought, but a focus of the vaccination strategy and made to feel comfortable. The panel recognised Danila Dilba’s vaccination service for their commitment to a whole of community response, their high levels of collaboration and their ongoing work to not only vaccinate but to communicate with their clients, provide a safe and welcoming environment and for their contribution to the Territory’s COVID-19 response.
Danila Dilba Health Service: Danila Dilba is the only Aboriginal Controlled Health Organisation in Darwin and supports over 9000 clients. They work not only with other health providers but recognising the social determinants of health, also work with the Don Dale Detention Centre and NT Legal Aid, to provide free legal support to their clients. The organisation is focused on providing a culturally safe workplace and has a majority of Indigenous staff. Each year, they self-fund five Aboriginal Health Practitioner trainees – a significant contribution to building a sustainable workforce. The panel recognised Danila Dilba for the breadth of their local services, their focus on cultural safety and their flexible and welcoming service to their clients (which includes mobile clinics and varied communication strategies to encourage good health and wellbeing). They are also recognised for their contribution to the COVID-19 response in the Territory – working as a respiratory clinic and supporting the vaccine rollout.
The Administrator’s Medals in Primary Health Care are proudly sponsored by Northern Territory Primary Health Network, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory, Health Providers Alliance Northern Territory, the Centre for Remote Health, CRANAplus, Northern Territory General Practice Education, Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health and the Northern Territory Government Department of Health.