IAHA SRC Members Reflection of Caring for Country Kids Conference

The Caring for Country Kids Conference was held in Alice Springs from the 17th-19th of April.  As members of the IAHA Student Representative Committee, Nellie and Celeste had the opportunity to represent IAHA at the conference, along with Workforce Development Officer, Kylie Stothers.

Nellie Celeste Caring for Country Kids

Celeste Brand and Nellie Pollard-Wharton at the Caring for Country Kids Conference

“We heard from Ministers, professionals (including Allied Health professionals) and many academics who work in this space and are passionate about country kids – children in remote and rural Australia. Some of the topics covered in the concurrent sessions included nutrition, ear health, mental health, FASD and heart disease, and many more! Great welcome to country and the weather was just perfect!”

“The first two days challenged many of our views, particularly the statistics of health conditions affecting the lives of children in remote and rural Australia. Although this challenged our thinking, we were able to reflect and appreciate the work people are doing to improve health outcomes for country kids. Luckily, we had each other, Kylie and Kerry Arabena there to debrief with us when our views, values and beliefs were challenged.”

“On the last day, we were particularly inspired to hear from Aboriginal Women who spoke about their work in this space. These women included June Oscar and Emily Carter from Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre, Fitzroy Crossing; Kerry Arabena, Chair, Indigenous Health; Director, Indigenous Health Equity, Melbourne University; Donna Ahchee, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress; Pat Anderson, Indigenous Health Advocate; Chair, The Lowitja Institute; and our own Kylie Stothers who spoke about Indigenous Allied Health workforce issues.”

Kylie_Caring for Country

IAHA’s Kylie Stothers presenting at the Caring for Country Kids Conference

“We enjoyed the entertainment throughout the conference. We heard from several Alice Springs schools who performed dances and songs for us, we heard the deadly girls from Drum Atweme and watched the Dusty Feet Dancers.”

“We were able to assist with scribing sessions and Celeste chaired a session about children’s nutrition. We also contributed to recommendations which will be fed back to government as we are in an election year. This conference allowed us to share our knowledge, learn new knowledge and skills which we both hope to apply and use in future practice.”

“We want to thank IAHA for allowing us the opportunity to attend as well as the National Rural Health Alliance for putting on a great conference!”

April 29, 2016


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