“Our client’s health and wellbeing is the main focus for the Care Coordination team, so building a strong relationship with our clients is vital.”

Tell me a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, what you studied, or worked as before MK.

My name is Marie Walley and I work at Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Health & Wellness Centre

I am a local person having been raised by my parents in Medina along with 2 brothers& 4 sisters. I currently reside in Yangebup with my family but travel Monday to Friday to Kwinana to work. I am the mother of 5 daughters and 4 sons and currently have 21 grandchildren.

Previously I have worked in several primary schools as an AIEO, before enrolling at Marr Moorditj College to become an Aboriginal Health Worker whilst also raising a family. During the completion of my Cert IIII, I was given the opportunity to complete my Diploma which I thought was a great. A part of the Diploma was going on practical placements to experience working in an Aboriginal Torres Strait islander Health setting and put to use all the clinical skills I had learnt during my training. My 1st placement was at Babbingur Mia women’s health service in Rockingham and I then I was offered a position at Moorditj Koort. These placements gave me a better understanding of the effects Chronic disease has on our people also how vital it is for expectant mothers to have ongoing support during their pregnancy.

What do you do at MK?

I am currently working as a Care Coordinator. This role enables me to work alongside the Specialists, GP’s & Allied health providers to ensure our client’s health requirements are met and their goals achieved by coordinating medical appointments and follow ups for our clients. I also advocate on their behalf when required. At Moorditj Koort we work closely with our client’s empowering them to better manage their chronic disease in a way that is better suited to them, as well as encouraging them to ask the health providers questions so they have a better understanding of their health condition or how to administer their medication for the best outcome.

What difference do you think you and MK are making in the community?

At Moorditj Koort we offers the clients the opportunity to access services in a safe and culturally appropriate place, also it adheres to client privacy and confidentiality as well as respect. We encourage our clients to attend brokered appointments and even offer transport if it is required to enable them to attend, but we also understand that there are family and financial commitments that may prevent them from attending. On those occasions we try to help them find a solution or advocate for them to enable for them to attend or reschedule their appointment for the next clinic.

Our client’s health and wellbeing is the main focus for the Care Coordination team so building a strong relationship with our clients is vital, but also maintain a professional relationship with our mainstream health providers is also vital for the best outcome for our clients. Sometimes it is hard to maintain that balance and not offend both parties so we also have to provide cultural training to our service providers and find a common ground for all parties.

Why is Indigenous Health important to you?

As an Aboriginal person we understand the barriers that prevent us from seeking medical aid until we are so ill, that we need to attend a GP appointment. Sometimes preventable illness is left undiagnosed until it is diagnosed as being chronic and we require ongoing medical assistance or GP management. We as Aboriginal people have a saying that ‘it’s them not me’ and if we don’t go to see our GP then it won’t happen – well it does happen and we need to take care of ourselves and talk to our families about our family medical history so we can be screened by our GP at the next appointment we go to or be monitored so we are in control of our health. We have so many of our people dying or being diagnosed with a chronic illness at a young age and we need to get on top of our health to prevent this happening.

What’s your favourite thing about working and representing MK in the community?

Working at Moorditj Koort has given me the opportunity to give back to my People and the community where I grew up. Hopefully Moorditj Koort can expand our services to surrounding areas in the future and employ local people to support their communities that have been effected by chronic disease.

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