WA's Heart Foundation has come under fire concerning the forced redundancies of two Aboriginal health workers.
Cultural, lead co-ordinator Lyn Dimer who is loved and respected in the Pilbara, was one of the staff members who was made redundant.
Pilbara grandmother, Trudy Hayes is disappointed at this decision after Ms Dimers effort to liaise with elders from Onslow and Roebourne to get the Pilbara Aboriginal heart health program off the ground with Chevron funding.
"The heart foundation how they made that judgement, how they assess that they should give her redundancy... after she built the relationships, she built up the heart foundation here in the Pilbara," she said.
"She came and introduced herself at our Thalanjyi meeting about what she was going to be doing in our community, then she set out forging relationships in the community and that was with help from my two sisters, Anne and Shirly .. (she) built up a really good rapport , with the people and the two workers that she had working with her, for me I saw the personal development of my two sisters, how when working with Lyn they started to really excel in that area, they know a lot about heart health now. I couldn't believe they would make Lyn redundant, and then put someone else in that position."
"We as Aboriginal people, we no longer need white people to tell us how we should be running our programs, we should be sitting at the decision-making table, I don't know what it is that departments and non aboriginal people think that we can't make those decisions on who we want to have work with us, Lyn has a lot of years experience."
Mrs Hayes says that the Heart Foundation should have consulted Onslow indigenous residents before making Lyn Dimer redundant.
Roebourne locals met with the Heart Foundation's CEO last month to discuss the future of the program.
"I will be writing to Chevron about what has been happening and maybe even pulling the funding, us aboriginal people need to start sticking together, we can't be working in isolation within our own little groups. as groups coming together, we are stronger."
"Aboriginal people we have just as much skills as workers that they sent to us because those people wouldn't get into Aboriginals homes without an Aboriginal person/worker being with them."
"We need to be sitting at the decision making tables because we are part of the statistics that they get the funding for. There is a lot of money pumped in there, but where is it gone, its all gone to the top it hasn't gone to the grassroots level helping people, but with Lyn I can say she did get down to the village and did so with the workers, some people just want to set up a room and have people come to them, its a little bit different on how you do your programs. We need to skill our people up so those skills stay in our communities."
The Heart Foundation told The West Australian that they are restructuring to best deliver their heart health goals while ensuring that donors money is being spent prudently.
“As a result, a small number of redundancies have been made in the Western Australia office.
“We will continue to look at how we can optimise outcomes for the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the WA office is an integral part of our approach.”
High truck load brings down powerlines in Roebourne-Cossack
More than 500 Roebourne and Cossack residents may be without power for up to 12 hours after a high load truck brought down power lines on Point Samson Road, near the Roebourne turn-off, at about 7.30 am today.
There were no reported injuries.
Horizon Power Retail and Community Manager Michelle South said the truck’s high load hit the overhead powerlines and brought down the lines.
The Pilbara Motorcycle Sisters are hosting this year's Black Dog Ride Pilbara, a national motorcycle run, to raise awareness about suicide prevention and to remember Chanel Nicholas, a beautiful Karratha woman, who suicided in December last year.
Chanel's family will be at the event held at Hearson's Cove this coming Sunday to talk about their beloved daughter and sister. They want to shine a light on the lack of facilities in regional WA and support the Karratha step-up step-down mental health facility that should be completed by 2020.
Fleur Roberts, Chanel's sister will be a keynote speaker at the Black Dog Ride event.
"Unfortunately up in Karratha there is just not that many places that you can present as a patient. When she was in a crisis situation, to get help was an obstacle itself,"" she said.
In order for her to get an appointment she would have to go through three parties, that was her employer to ask for some time off. She would have to make an appointment with the psychiatrist down here and then she would have to make a booking with PATS to organise a flight. Normally this process would take about two days and if you're in a crisis situation. It's a very tricky and difficult time."
"The amount of friends and phone calls and tributes we've had since Chanel has passed away amazes me and the stories that people have told me, I am gob-smacked .. the amount of people that she generally touched while she was still going through this illness. I just can't believe she had so much to give.
Cars and Motorbikes are welcome to register at 4pm on Sunday the 17th of March at Karratha City shopping centre.