03 Jun Meet our Aboriginal Health Working Group: Kellie Hammerstein
- What is your role at Monash Health, and what does it entail?
Team Leader of the Monash Health Aboriginal Health Service. My role oversees the community based services, including Healthy Koori Kids.
- You’re in the Aboriginal Health Working Group, can you tell me why you’re passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Employment at Monash Health?
My passion comes from a place of what I feel is right, increasing the wellbeing of Aboriginal people is to me one of the country’s most paramount responsibilities. The truth of our history sits deep within me. As a parent of Aboriginal children I am committed to being part of the change we want to see for their community. Being part of delivering responsive and heart felt and Aboriginal Health Service is a privilege and honour. We want to continue to grow as a services in our capacity to meet the needs of the community, striving for excellence – our First Nations people deserve no less.
- What does the Aboriginal Health Working Group do?
The Monash Health Aboriginal Health Working Group works to ensure that our services are culturally sensitive and delivered in an environment that is welcoming to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients/clients.
- “Grounded in truth, walk together with courage” is the theme this year for National Reconciliation Week, what does this mean to you? To me this is about acknowledge the horrific truth to our history since colonisation, the genocide, discrimination, displacement and oppression. As a country this need to be our foundation as a devastating as it is, it’s the lived experience for our First Nation’s people, but it is not defining. On my desk I have a few words that speaks to me on walking together with courage “When we acknowledges the humanity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people we can get to a space where we can acknowledge the challenges and complexities we face together. Not just challenges and complexities for Indigenous Australians. Further, we acknowledge a sense of Indigenous human a capacity to rise above such challenges, was well as a sense of worthiness; Indigenous Australians afforded the right to an opportunity to rise”
- What does reconciliation mean to you, and why is it important?
To me the essence of Reconciliation is unity; Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal working towards the truth, respect, self-determination, justice, equity and healing.
National Reconciliation Week runs annually from 27 May – 3 June and a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements.
At Monash Health, we are working towards closing the gap with the support and guidance of the Aboriginal Working Group. The membership is made of representations from each are/unit/department:
- Aboriginal Health
- Allied Health
- Children’s Program
- Early in Life Mental Health Services
- Health Information Services
- Monash Community
- Nursing and Midwifery Education and Strategy
- Patient Experience
- People and Culture
- Public Affairs and Communication
- Social Work and Spiritual Care
- Women’s and Newborn Program
For more information on the events organised by the working group, click here.