JHC promotes family health at Wadjak Northside Social Emotional Wellbeing Expo in Balga

JHC social work manager Tracey Negus, head of paediatrics Professor Desiree Silva and Dr Bianca Howard.
JHC social work manager Tracey Negus, head of paediatrics Professor Desiree Silva and Dr Bianca Howard.

HEALTH experts from Joondalup Health Campus participated in the inaugural Wadjak Northside Social Emotional Wellbeing Expo last month.

Hundreds of people enjoyed a ‘cultural immersion’ experience at the expo which included a smoking ceremony, ceremonial dancers, art activities, bush tucker tasting and emu egg carving.

Egg carving at the expo.

There were also several musical acts, including Natasha Eldridge’s ‘Because of her we can’, which was the theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week.

JHC social work manager Tracey Negus joined Aboriginal doctor Bianca Howard, a Jaru and Kitja woman who currently works in the emergency department (ED), running a stall to talk to visitors about health topics.

Head of paediatrics Desiree Silva and ED consultant Nicole Liesis also attended and lent their expertise on childhood development and emergency medicine.

Trevarus Kelly who is a consumer representative on the JHC Aboriginal Health Committee with Professor Desiree Silva.

Professor Silva said the day helped them connect with the local Aboriginal community and explain the support available to Aboriginal mothers, pregnant women, babies and children.

“We also wanted to encourage local Aboriginal families to consider participation in the ORIGINS project,” she said.

“(It) offers regular health screening and check-up until the child is five years of age – and importantly, early intervention if any health issues are identified.”

Ms Negus, who is chairwoman of the hospital’s Aboriginal Health Committee, said she was delighted that so many committee members took the time to attend the event.

Emergency Department consultant Dr Nicole Liesis and Dr Bianca Howard at the health stall at the wellness expo.

“We were able to make great links and form partnerships with other organisations who specialise in Aboriginal community services,” she said.

She said the focus for the October expo was children in care and children and families at risk in the community.

“In fact, as a result of the expo, we’re now looking at a partnership that may result in improved safety planning for youth at risk who present to the JHC emergency department,” she said.

The team also provided information about the hospital’s Aboriginal Health Committee initiatives, which include the upcoming appointment of an Aboriginal Liaison Officer, staff training in cultural awareness and the incorporation of Aboriginal artwork around the hospital.