Supporting rural/remote Australians in a culturally appropriate way

Supporting rural/remote Australians in a culturally appropriate way Conference Paper

14th National Rural Health Conference: A World of Rural Health

  • Author(s): Aiton, Susan, Smithson, Teresa
  • Secondary Author(s): Coleman, Leanne
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: National Rural Health Alliance

Abstract: The organisation provides unique, flexible and culturally appropriate support options for indigenous Australians with a disability or who are frail aged and living in the Top End of the NT. Support is available in more than 33 remote communities. The Remote Respite Camp program, Troopy program, Wellbeing Troopy program and Urban Troopy program provide culturally respectful support on country. Camps are delivered in communities on request during the dry season and are aimed at low care, frail aged indigenous females. A local person from the community is engaged to work as a support worker on camps, utilising a brokerage model; the aim being to contribute to strengthening community capacity, employment opportunities and skills development. The camp setup is self-sufficient with solar power, tents, sleeping equipment and all food supplied for the duration of the camp. Participants assist in camp duties and all staff focus on wellness, reablement and restorative approaches aiming at improving quality of life. Activities are planned in consultation with the participants, often with an after-dinner movie under the stars! The Troopy program is delivered on request by, and in consultation with a community and is managed by local providers and their staff in the community. A Troopcarrier, fuel and a small budget for the outings is supplied. This provides the opportunity for carers and recipients in remote communities to access meaningful, on –country support, determined by them and delivered by familiar local people. Respite outings include fishing, hunting, gathering craft materials, funeral attendance, camping and visits to other communities to see family. The recent Aged Care reform has posed some particular challenges in the change in approaches to providing support for remote clients. All referrals must be made through the Federal government “My Aged Care” portal, by service providers or by self-referral. When a service provider initiates the referral My Aged Care then attempts to make contact with the client. This can prove difficult in remote communities. If contact isn’t able to be made after 2 phone calls the referral is closed and then becomes the responsibility of the client to make contact to complete an assessment. Our experience on community tells us that phones are often lost, out of credit, people mightn’t answer an unfamiliar number or they may have given their phone to another and no longer have phone access.

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Suggested Citation
Aiton, Susan, Smithson, Teresa, 2017, Supporting rural/remote Australians in a culturally appropriate way, Conference Paper, viewed 12 June 2024,

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