Welcome to Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services
Fitzroy Crossing is situated in the heart of the Kimberley, 400km east of Broome, and 290km west of Halls Creek. The Fitzroy Valley extends for a radius of approximately 150km from Fitzroy Crossing. There are more than 45 Aboriginal Communities in the Valley. The population of the Valley is approximately 3,500 people, of whom 80% are Indigenous. There are 5 main Aboriginal language groups which are Bunuba, Walmajarri, Gooniyandi, Nyikina and Wangkatjungka each having their own distinct language and customs.
Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services (NCHS) is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO). It began in 1995, following a wide reaching community consultation. The consultation aimed to establish the type of health service the local Community wanted. The clear message from this consultation was that the community wanted a holistic, culturally appropriate service that recognises the impact of Aboriginal Law, Culture, Spirit and Land issues on the health of the Community. The Community also specified that they wanted an ACCHO that focused on disease prevention and health promotion. Most importantly, they wanted a service that worked together with the existing, State run, hospital service to avoid duplication of services and improve the quality of services for local people. It was from this consultation that the concept of a partnership between the Fitzroy Valley Health Service (FVHS) and NCHS was formed.
NCHS has 3 main divisions; these are Health Promotion, Health Services and Community Services. Each of these divisions is split into separate areas, as shown:
The Health Program Key Areas have been chosen in response to Community needs, as determined by community consultation, as well as the known health problems in the Fitzroy Valley. The programs themselves have been designed as far as practical to be comprehensive health promotion programs that address the need for supportive environments and building community capacity, as well as providing education and skills development for local people.
The health services that NCHS provide are designed to help the people of the Fitzroy Valley maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst remaining culturally appropriate. The programs themselves have been designed specifically around aboriginal culture so that they can be welcomed in and around all of the communities of the Fitzroy Valley. These services provide the knowledge and training local people require to lead a healthy life.
The community services run by NCHS are specifically designed to provide care and assistance to vulnerable people in the Fitzroy Valley. These services provide an environment where individuals and their families can receive the support and resources they need whilst at all times operating within the framework of aboriginal culture.
FASD Prevalence Study
This collaborative project, initiated and led by Aboriginal leaders in the Fitzroy Valley in the remote East Kimberley, WA, established the prevalence of FASD, health and developmental problems in a population of primary school-aged, predominantly Aboriginal children and developed strategies for service delivery, prevention and education.