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Redfern AMS

Deadly Vibe Issue 81

The health and living standards of Indigenous communities in Australia has for too long been below acceptable standards. Thankfully, there is an increasing number of Indigenous organisations that are working hard to address this situation.

One of the most important of these organisations is the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service, which won a Deadly this year for Achievement in Aboriginal Health.

Lee Madden has been a director at the Redfern AMS for 20 years, and has lived in the Redfern area his whole life. Lee proudly accepted the Deadly award on behalf of the Redfern AMS.

“The Redfern AMS is a very important community organisation which most Aboriginal medial services around the State have stemmed from,” says Lee. “We also initiated many of the programs that are used elsewhere, such as diabetes programs and programs for the elderly.”

The Redfern Aboriginal Medical service was established in 1971 and was the first Aboriginal community controlled health service in Australia. The AMS also helped other communities in setting up their own AMSs across the country throughout the early 1970s.

The Aboriginal Medical Service is dedicated to improving the health standards in Aboriginal communities across Australia, and is constantly improving the quality and range of its services. Its achievements have been recognised by the World Health Organisation

“This organisation has been set up by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people, and has had some great supporters in the past such as Fred Hollows, who recognised the fact that Aboriginal people know what’s best for Aboriginal people,” says Lee.

At the AMS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can talk about any health concerns they may have with sensitive, culturally aware medical professionals.

The AMS also offers pregnancy tests and women’s health care, immunisations, hearing tests, quit-smoking counselling, diabetes and heart disease screening, monitoring and care, aged-care assessments, podiatry care, ear, nose and throat care, children’s health care and sexual assault counselling, and cultural awareness.

There is also a dental clinic, drug and alcohol unit, eye clinic, mental health service, chiropractor and a doctor available.

“For the AMS to be recognised with a Deadly award is a great honour, and something everyone at the organisation really appreciates,” says Lee.

“There are many other great medical services across Australia, all of which deserve an award. That makes it even more special for the Redfern AMS to be recognised in this way.”

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