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Mildura AMS: Connecting is the key

The Mildura Aboriginal Corporation employs 75 staff, with 31 in the Mildura Aboriginal Health Service. This service provides a central linking point to many other services for Aboriginal people in the community.

A major focus of the health centre is connecting the local community through events and celebrations. Community Days are held every three months during school holidays and over 300 children regularly attend. They run Footy Fever, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day and NAIDOC Week celebrations as well as free monthly photo sessions at the centre to encourage regular contact.

Recently the centre attempted to set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) screenings in one session during its Health and Wellbeing Community Day.

The health service delivers health checks for children and adults, a doctor’s clinic, a transport service, support and advocacy and home visits when required.

They also cover diabetes screening, including diabetic education and nutritional advice, hearing and eye screening, minor treatments and follow-up after hospital discharge, as well as men’s health care.

An important part of the health service is the Koori Maternity Services (KMS). This provides antenatal care, labour and birth support, post-natal support, maternal and child health, immunisation, women’s health, and antenatal education.

“We aim to achieve a 92pc immunisation rate,” says midwife with the service, Karinda Ritchie.

Ms Ritchie says such support services for women are sorely needed in the area, with only two Aboriginal midwives servicing the 23 Aboriginal Medical Services across Victoria.

The AMS also runs a “Bumps to Babes and Beyond” program three days a week, which develops, coordinates, and evaluates early childhood programs to work intensively with families.

The Mildura Aboriginal Corporation is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm Friday. It is located at 120 Madden Ave, Mildura. Contact them on (03) 5022 1852.

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