March 2017
Roslyn Dixon, Desarae Clements, Helen Clements and Raelene Banks from Boab's ITC team setting up the National Close the Gap Day event at Male Oval on a very hot morning in Broome!
Update from our CEO
Welcome to the first newsletter for 2017 and I hope that the year has got off to a good start for everyone! It has been a busy start for Boab with a review of our current service models to ensure that all programs support a holistic, client focused approach. This has included lots of great discussions with our health and non-health partners, working together to support the individual, the family and the community’s health. This approach will keep people healthier in their community and out of hospital. 
Boab finished 2016 having achieved reaccreditation against the National Quality Standards. This shows the organisational commitment to providing the best services we can, with appropriately qualified and experienced staff on board.We look forward to an exciting year ahead with some innovative new approaches and as always welcome any feedback or suggestions.

On behalf of the Boab Team, best wishes in health and happiness for 2017, we all look forward to working with you. 

Best wishes,
Margie Ware | CEO
Sensory Art Therapy Sessions
Stacey Larke, one of Boab Health’s Mental Health Professionals and a qualified Art Therapist has been receiving some great feedback about her Art Therapy Sessions in the East Kimberley. The images  below are from a sensory art making session held in Warmun; felting rocks exploring the topic ‘what keeps you strong?’. This woman’s rock represents her strength ‘taking care of my family’ felted in the colours red and navy.
Stacey also co-facilitated the first 'Art Heal' workshop held over 2 days at the Waringarri Arts Centre in Kununurra,  which attracted 17 participants. For more information about our Art Therapy programs please contact Stacey on 9168 2560 or email Stacey here 
Healthy Weight Week 
West Kimberley dietitians actively promoted Healthy Weight Week during February through local radio segments and activities for shoppers at the Broome Boulevard in collaboration with other local health agencies.The activities aimed to help community members understand which are the best snack foods for their families, and how to easily create healthy balanced meals every day.
Whilst it is possible to be healthy at a wide range of different weights, there is an association with poorer health outcomes and deviations from a healthy weight (both underweight and overweight). Want to know more? The Dietitians Association of Australia has a website where you can find cook books, meal plans, healthy eating tips, a weight assessment tool, a quiz and more.
Four tips to keep your feet amazing in the Kimberley!

Amy Freeman, one of our West Kimberley Podiatrists has some great tips for keeping your feet healthy:
  1. If you get dry or cracking heels use a heel balm or foot balm that contains urea. Urea is the active ingredient that is able to penetrate the multiple layers of skin on the bottom of our feet that make this skin so very different from elsewhere on the body.
  2. Fight tinea and fungal foot infections by wearing thongs in communal bathrooms and washing and changing your socks regularly. Some people need to change their socks during the day. If a fungal rash/ itch develops see your pharmacist for some antifungal treatment.
  3. Cut your toenails straight across, not down the sides. This avoids ingrown toenails.
  4. Exercise regularly and change your sports shoes every 6-12 months. And avoid the hype, choose shoes that are comfortable for you, not just what looks good and seems to be the current craze.  Some shoe ideas are genius though. For example, in 1973 Nike invented the famous waffle sole inspired by a waffle iron. It is still used today in some of their running shoes.
For more information about our Podiatry Services  please contact Robyn Powell, Allied  Health Manager on 9192 7888 or email Robyn here
East Kimberley Youth Program 
What are our Youth Program participants looking for? 
Participants from the Wyndham Youth Project gathering bush tucker (gilly fruit) and enjoying one of the amazing waterfalls this wet season has brought us. For more information please contact the program coordinator Dr Nicole Jeffery-Dawes on 9168 2560 or via email.

Cardio Vascular Disease Ambassador Bernadette O’Brien

Bernadette O’Brien, West Kimberley Diabetes Educator, has recently been successful in earning the role of Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) Ambassador for the Kimberley, an initiative of The National Heart Foundation of Australia.

One priority of the Heart Foundation is to reduce the life expectancy gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by improving heart health. Bernadette’s role as Ambassador will be to increase community awareness of the risks of CVD through promotion of the Heart Foundation’s “Heart Health’ messages. 
CVD refers to conditions that are related to heart and other blood vessels including those that cause stroke. CVD is the leading cause of death for Kimberley people. Aboriginal people are 3 times more likely to have a heart attack or other major coronary event.  The main causes are high cholesterol (fat in the blood) and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Risk factors can be reduced through addressing high blood pressure and lifestyle behaviours related to smoking, obesity and physical activity. 

Bernadette’s extensive experience as a Diabetes Educator is set to compliment the CVD Ambassador rollout in line with her recent achievement in gaining a Certificate III in Fitness. The rollout is coming soon, watch this space!

National Close the Gap Day

Boab Health’s Integrated Team Care (ITC) staff coordinated another successful National Close the Gap Day community event at Male Oval on 16 March which was well attended by local community members and health agencies.
National Close the Gap Day is a national day of action to pledge support for achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People can expect to live up to 10–17 years less than non-Indigenous Australians. The Close the Gap campaign aims to close this health gap within a generation.
A range of local agencies participated in the event  including Kimberley Population Health Unit, Rheumatic Heart Disease team, BRAMS Nuff of the Puff team, Cancer Council WA, Kimberley Renal Services, Headspace, Red Cross, Mens Outreach and Nirrumbuk.

A healthy barbecue was kindly provided by Mens Outreach service who cooked up over 100 portions of local fish and a fantastic array of salads were provided by Boab Health’s dietitians. Live music from Simon Williams enhanced the atmosphere.
The event was a great success thanks to the positive response from the community and the combined impact of local agencies working together to share information, raise awareness of health issues and demonstrate support for Closing the Gap.

Allied Health delivering DESMOND

DESMOND is the only evidence based self-management education program for people with type 2 diabetes in Australia. The program is based on group activities and shared experiences, delivered by two specially trained DESMOND educators.
DESMOND (short for Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed), aims to help participants to take control of their own condition. During the session, participants create their own health plans, based on their own needs and circumstances.Many of Boab’s Allied Health teams are DESMOND educators and have been delivering sessions since 2015 in trial locations including Derby, Broome, Kununurra, Warmun, Pandanus Park and Looma. The team have been working closely with Diabetes WA and local health providers to adapt the program to suit Kimberley people. The photos below are from a session held at Mowanjum Community near Derby with Asha Singh and Melissa Robinson from Diabetes WA.
“The DESMOND program emphasises that, for a person with type 2 diabetes, their most valuable health resource is themselves,” said Deb Schofield, general manager of DESMOND Australia. “There is evidence to show that better self-management of diabetes can result in significant and sustained weight loss, increased physical activity levels, and improved wellbeing.”
Topics include:
  • Food choices
  • Physical activity
  • Complication risks
  • Self-management planning
  • Goal setting
To find out more about DESMOND and your nearest program please see Referrals are accepted from:
  • Health professions in consultation with the patient
  • Clients directly to Diabetes WA or to Boab Health Service  (through NDSS registration)
How can I create a healthy lunchbox?
Having trouble finding new ideas for your kids’ lunchboxes? Boab Health’s Paediatric Nutritionist has directed us to two useful websites for some practical advice and new ideas. Please see or

Don’t forget to aim to include at least one food from each of the 5 food groups (vegetables, fruit, grains/cereals, meat and meat alternatives, and dairy) as well as plenty of water in their lunch boxes every day to help your kids grow and learn to the best of their ability.
Boab Health Services has registered for ‘Plastic Free July’ and will be challenging staff to attempt to consume no single-use plastic during July. Single-use plastic is anything that is intended to be used once then thrown away and the worst offenders are plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic straws and plastic containers. Boab Health will be focusing on hosting plastic free events, not purchasing plastic single use items for our organisation and not using plastic bags. Why not join the challenge? Please see  for more information and to register.

Upcoming Events

21 March - Harmony Day
7 April - World Health Day
26 May - National Sorry Day
7 July - Boab Health's Plastic Free Morning Tea at 10 am

Join us 

Are you passionate about working in remote health, working with diverse cultural groups and providing best practice care?  Are you flexible, organised and adventurous?  If yes then we want to hear from you!  Email your CV to our Recruitment Officer here.  For more information visit our Positions Vacant page.
Sleeping Buddha, Lily Creek Lagoon in Kununurra -  Photo Simon Dann 2016 
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Copyright © 2017 Boab Health Services Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.

Our Head Office address is:
5 / 20 Hamersley St Broome  WA  6725

Our East-Kimberley address is:
96 Coolibah Dve Kununurra  WA 6725
PO Box 1866 Kununurra  WA  6743

t:  08 9192 7888  f:  08 9192 7999  e:
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Boab Health Services · PO Box 1866 · Kununurra, WA 6743 · Australia

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