Proud Kamilaroi Warrior - Courageous Leader and Advocate
Proud Kamilaroi Warrior - Courageous Leader and Advocate
I have a lifetime commitment to political advocacy. Working in small rural communities as an ambulance officer getting funding for various programs and health initiatives where I was awarded Young Citizen of the Year in 1988. Moving forward I have advocated for a range of rural and Indigenous Health programs and over the last 20 years identifying and prosecuting National health initiatives that have resulted in real and lasting outcomes for these communities. I have established a wide range of political relationships affording me opportunities to seek counsel and influence political decision making and I commit to continuing to focus on this advocacy for our profession and communities if I am elected to the President of RACGP
I am committed to ensuring we address communication strategies with and from our membership to highlight to amazing work that goes on often unrecognised behind the scenes for our profession and communities and also to draw upon the extensive and learned experiences of our membership in driving our future directions.
We are a member organisation and I am committed to driving the membership engagement focus of our college should I become President.
Supporting our IMG's through peer support programs and mentoring whlst also seeking guidance on the responses that would most assist them and their families in delivering premium primary care services often to some of our most vulnerable communities.
Support for registars and supervisors in the delivery of GP training program working with our key partners such as the GPRA and GPSA. Ongoing support for our Indigenous Registrars through the established Yagila Wadamba program.
I believe that the future of advocacy for enhanced primary health care delivery and resourcing in this nation relies upon effective engagement and collaboration with consumer advocacy groups. Listening to and educating consumer about the value and critical nature of general practice to our nations health outcomes is a crucial element to our success both as a profession and businesses delivery quality evidence based health care to our patients and communities.
I have shown I have been able to develop these relationships throughout my career and harness the energy and support of such relationships to bolster both the engagement in and successes of the programs in question.
Through RDAQ as a medical student and later with RACGP as a Registrar I have been active in the development and rollout of initiatives in the Indigenous Health Sector. Awarded the AMA National Individual Contribution to Healthcare in Australia Award in 2003 as a medical student. I have represented RACGP on a range of national committees such as the AMA Taskforce on Indigenous Health, Close the Gap Committee and the development of the National Indigenous Health Plan.
I have been the foundation Chair of both the inaugural RACGP National Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Health (2007) and the RACGP National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health established in 2010. This also gave me the opportunity of being actively engaged in the National Council of RACGP 2010-16. We have developed and guided and range of initiatives within the RACGP and also influence National policy in this area. With a membership within RACGP in the order of 15,000 GP's and registrars either working in or committed to contributing to the healthcare outcomes for our First Nations patients and communities. I continue as the RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Provost since 2016.
As a founding Director of the Jimmy Little Foundation and Uncle Jimmy Thumbs Up program I have supported a variety of initiatives aimed at having a positive influence into resourcing and educating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around prevention and treatment of renal disease. More recently the introduction of the "Thumbs Up" app to assist community members to identify healthy choices through scanning of product codes and assessing their nutritional value to guide informed choice towards health outcomes.
I also hold Professorial appointments at Bond University, Central Queensland University and the University of Queensland where I am involved both in supporting the training of our future medical workforce but also have responsibilities in the Indigenous Health curriculum and mentoring of Indigenous students in these university programs.
As a veteran of the Royal Australian Navy where I joined aged 15 in 1981, I continue my commitment to serving members of the defence force, veterans transitioning and transitioned and their families. This is especially important in present times as we engage the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide. I have sat on the Prime Ministers Advisory Council on Veteran Mental Health and continue on the National Advisory Council for Open Arms. I am a leader within the Dept of Veterans Affairs where we are developing GP education and resources to support GP's and our teams in the optimisation of healthcare delivery to our veterans and their families.
My practice at Ashfield Country Practice has a focus on Indigenous and Veteran healthcare and focus on delivery of premium quality healthcare to our patients in this area is an statement of pride whilst also enhancing resources available to all our patients.
I have a long history as a boy born in the country town of Gunnedah in NSW to having worked in many rural and remote locations as an ambulance officer and Intensive Care Paramedic with the RFDS
I have developed and secured funding for a range of healthcare programs throughout my life including several Bicentennial programs celebrating healthcare opportunities and delivery in the rural and remote sector.
I am a graduate of the focussed Rural, Remote, Indigenous and Tropical Health Program as one of the inaugural class form James Cook University Medical School. During my training I had the opportunity of many rural and remote placements including Mt Isa, Doomadgee, Longreach, Uluru and Proserpine. On graduation I commenced the RVTS GP training program in Theodore and moving to Eidsvold as a solo GP/MSRPP for the town with a population of 1000.
I have been founding member of the rural health club (RHINO) at JCU, National Chair of the National Rural Health Network, Committee and Executive of the RDAQ (as a student and later as a registrar), and I have established a Rural Student Leadership program with the then Health Minister Tony Abbott, MP.
MBBS FRACGP FARGP GAICD