Winnunga Nimmityjah Health Services means Strong Health 

Julie’s NAIDOC week address to ACT AG Department


On Monday, 4 July Winnunga CEO Julie Tongs addressed the ACT Attorney-General’s Department on the first day of NAIDOC week. Julie used this opportunity to outline to those assembled, including Secretary of the Department Roger Wilkins, AO and Margaret Beattie, a short history of Winnunga, from its humble beginnings 23 years ago.

Julie also took the opportunity to outline to those present how, far from being merely an Indigenous GP clinic, Winnunga is a comprehensive primary healthcare center, one that has a holistic and integrated approach to its clients health and needs.

This holistic approach now ranges from GP and mental health professionals, including psychiatrists and peri-natal psychiatrists, to the Social Health team, midwives, a dentist, podiatrist, dietician, along with practice nurses for those suffering chronic disease, and many more individuals.

This large range of committed staff allows Winnunga to consider all aspects on the ACT Indigenous Communities’ health needs. Winnunga is proud of the breadth of the health care programs it offers, including a Diabetes clinic, the ‘No More Boondah’ quit smoking program, both women’s and men’s groups, as well as diversion programs for youth offenders.

Julie was also able to address the unique success Winnunga has had in acting as a training centre for medical students from many universities, including ANU. 4th and 3rd years medical students from ANU undertake placement and training at Winnunga, helping them gain an understanding of the cultural considerations pertinent to Indigenous people.

Finally, Julie addressed the work Winnunga does with those individuals currently incarcerated in both the Alexander McConchie Centre, and Bimberri Juvenile Detention Centre. In both facilities, Winnunga undertakes important work to ensure individuals receive proper healthcare despite incarcerated individuals losing rights to medicare. This includes providing GP visits, along with an Aboriginal health worker.

This address was an important opportunity for Julie to outline and publicize the important and good Winnunga performs, and the outcomes Winnunga achieves.