Danila Dilba Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS), in the top end, recently had its 20th anniversary. they celebrated the younG, the old and everyone in between with a seniors’ day, a youth disco and a Gala Ball.
Catering to the whole community, it is a very large service, comprising five separate buildings across different cities, with a total of 105 staff.
The name Danila Dilba Biluru Butji Binnilutlum was given to this medical service by the Larrakia people, the traditional owners of Darwin and Palmerston. In Larrakia language, Danila Dilba means ‘dilly bag used to collect bush medicines’ and Biluru Butji Binnilutlum means ‘blackfella getting better from sickness’.
“The Danila Dilba AMS provides free and comprehensive primary healthcare services and a growing number of other services, with a focus on mothers and babies,” says spokesperson Monica Barolititis.
“We deliver services from five separate sites, including a dedicated men’s clinic in Darwin. We also have a Family Centre at Palmerston for women’s and infant health and maternal programs, and we have a youth service that engages with youth in the communities to link them in for health checks or for referral to the Emotional and Social Well Being Unit.”
Monica says they have a Health Promotions Team, which does a lot of work in schools, educating students and delivering other positive health messages.
She says Danila Dilba AMS aims to improve the physical, mental, spiritual, cultural and social wellbeing of the local Aboriginal communities.
Dr James Stephen says he hasn’t looked back since he started with the clinic in 2005.
“I wouldn’t call it a vocational calling that keeps me here because, although there is a strong element of this, it’s more than that, it’s the enjoyment of practising medicine in a very social and challenging environment. Working closely with Aboriginal health workers and negotiating the many and varied cultural issues and nuances is an invigorating experience,” he says.
For contact details and locations, visit www.daniladilbaexperience.org.au