Three Member services celebrated landmark anniversaries looking after their mob this year – ATSICHS Brisbane marked its 50 year anniversary, Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation in the Atherton Tablelands commemorated its 30 years anniversary and the Northern Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Alliance (NATSIHA) celebrated 20 years.

ATSICHS Brisbane

On 13 May this year, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala dinner at Brisbane City Hall.

Over the decades, ATSICHS Brisbane has made significant strides in healthcare, community services and early childhood education, expanding their medical clinics, creating new services, and ensuring more community members have access to quality healthcare. They also pioneered the introduction of community-controlled kindergartens, opened the dedicated First Nations aged care facility, Jimbelunga Nursing Centre and have made a significant impact for our community in the areas of child protection, youth justice and family wellbeing.

QAIHC Deputy Chair Rachel Atkinson and ATSICHS Brisbane CEO Renee Blackman

Beyond celebrating their long history, the gala dinner was also an occasion to honour the outstanding achievements of seven community leaders as new Life Members. Uncle William (Billy) Gorham, Uncle Mark Moore, Uncle Jeffery Broom, Aunty Glenda Brooks, Dr Aunty Mary Martin, Aunty Dorothy Buhmann and Dr Aunty Lilla Watson, were acknowledged for their contributions to ATSICHS Brisbane over the years.

Dignitaries, including the Honourable Leeanne Enoch MP, ATSICHS Brisbane Board Chair Melody Ingra, Life Members Uncle Les Collins and Aunty Erica Fisher, as well as representatives from ATSICHS Brisbane’s member network.

Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation

Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation has celebrated 30 years looking after mob in the Mareeba, and more recently, Atherton and Kuranda communities.

Mulungu staff, clients, and community gathered at both their Mareeba ‘Mulungu’ and Atherton ‘Midin’ clinics for two dazzling nights of celebration on the evenings of 7 and 8 June.

A community dancer performing at Mulungu’s 30th Anniversary celebrations

Incorporated in 1993, Mulungu grew out of Wuchopperen Health Service’s Mareeba clinic. Over time, it was clear the Mareeba community needed greater involvement in the medical service, so steps were taken to incorporate a new entity.

In an interview for Mareeba’s The Express, CEO Gail Wason said, “It all started with a collective of people coming together with the same common cause. We had our kids coming in and out of hospitals, and the community felt like they were being treated as second-class citizens.”

Today, Mulungu has nearly 120 staff, up from 3 in 1993, many of whom are from the local community and have ‘grown’ with the business.

“We love growing local people, and I think providing a dedicated, caring service to Mareeba and surrounding communities demonstrates this,” she said.

Gail Wason

Northern Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Alliance (NATSIHA)

The Northern Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Alliance (NATSIHA) is celebrating 20 years as the regional peak body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations in Far North Queensland.

NATSIHA membership comprises of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health and Wellbeing Services (ATSICCH&WS) located throughout Far North Queensland and works with these services and the communities they serve to ensure they have regional representation and advocacy at the state and federal level.

NATSIHA is unique that of the 80,000 plus Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Far North Queensland, our Members provide culturally appropriate health services to over 70% of this population.