Positive partnerships promote Aboriginal health

Positive partnerships promote Aboriginal health

Aboriginal Health Worker Gail Williams measuring the waist line of a football player

Aboriginal Health Worker Gail Williams, South Metropolitan Public Health Unit completing a health check on a young player

When over 300 young Aboriginal footballers, coaches, umpires and trainers congregated in Mandurah recently for the 2013 Nicky Winmar Carnival, health checks were part of their pre-game preparation.

Aboriginal health workers from the South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) and North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) provided health checks for all players and coaches, who had come from as far away as the Kimberley and Goldfields to participate.

The WA Football Commission (WAFC) supported WA Health by endorsing a ‘no check, no play’ approach, so that all players and support staff received blood pressure and blood sugar screening, and ear and eye tests.

Staff also shared early intervention strategies, advised on positive health behaviours and encouraged players and staff take a more proactive approach with their health.

Following the medical screening, all carnival participants also received a special football health pack.

The presence of Aboriginal health workers was made possible through collaboration between the WAFC, Western Australian Football League (WAFL), NMHS, SMHS and Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service.

The health of spectators was also a focus of the carnival, with a medical screening "pit stop" booth accessible free of charge to everyone attending the day.

The Department for Sport and Recreation, Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service, and the Heart Foundation WA were also on out in force promoting healthy lifestyle information.

For further information or to submit a story idea, please contact communications@health.wa.gov.au