The Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation (AHAC) is a thriving Aboriginal Medical Service in Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory, which sees about 60 clients a day.
The medical centre follows a ‘whole of family’ approach, which reflects Aboriginal connectedness to all things in life. Anyinginyi is a Warumungu word meaning “belonging to us”.
The AHAC was established in 1985 by Aboriginal people in the Tennant Creek Region to gain control to determine the direction of the planning and delivery of healthcare services to their people.
The independent Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, which is part of the corporation, offers a wide range of health services to over 6500 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people living in Tennant Creek and the Yapakurlangu Region.
Executive Assistant of the centre, Sarah Watkins says their services are designed to be culturally responsive to the community and their clients’ needs.
“Emphasis is placed on prevention, early intervention and education programs,” she says.
Sarah says the centre has been divided into sections to enable them to deliver services with a ‘whole of family’ approach.
“The whole of family primary healthcare model adopted by us reflects Aboriginal connectedness to all things in life, and this model places emphasis on individuals and their environment,” she says.
The Public Health section is broken down into a Public Health Unit which focuses on things like preventive health, eye health and sexual health; and Sports and Recreation. While they don’t offer renal dialysis, they can help with chronic disease management which covers renal diseases and diabetes. They also provide podiatry, physiotherapy and psychologist services.
“We are the only Aboriginal Medical Service in the NT to run a fully equipped gym, and we encourage use by the entire Tennant Creek community by running many different health and fitness programs,” Sarah says.
“The gym also runs a daily after-school and school-holiday program targeting school-aged kids to improve their health and well-being through sports and other recreational activities.”
The centre operates from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. The gym is open from 6am to 8pm from Monday to Friday, and from 4pm to 8pm on Sundays.The centre is located at 1 Irvine St, Tennant Creek. Contact then on (08) 8962 2385 or (08) 8962 2633.