Friends of the Alliance is the network of people and organisations that supports the objectives of the National Rural Health Alliance. The Friends Advisory Committee is comprised of two representatives from each State and Territory, elected by Friends from each jurisdiction, plus two representatives from the Alliance Council. All are passionate advocates for the health needs of rural communities.
Andrew Waters is a Friends Advisory Committee representative for Western Australia. Andrew says:
“At the time of writing I was director of population health for WA Country Health Service in the Kimberley, Western Australia, with responsibility for allied health, community health, public health and remote health services (nursing outposts) in the region, and with a workforce of approximately 170 staff.
By the time Partyline goes to ‘print’ I will have made a career transition to become an environmental health officer with local government. This role in essence manages the risks to human health posed by the environment and environmental risk posed by human activity. The position is responsible for a wide range of functions including food safety and public building inspections; mosquito management and surveillance of mosquito borne viruses; and the investigation of nuisance complaints and water safety (domestic bores, commercial pools and waste water reuse) within the Shire of Broome local government area.
My career of the last 20 years has been in rural Australia, in professional, policy and health service management roles. Ten of those years have been in Broome which is now home. It is an active choice to live in rural Australia and while I’m no drover, and nor a poet, I will paraphrase Banjo Patterson to reflect that the rural life has “pleasures that the townsfolk never know.”
Amy Squires is a Friends Advisory Committee representative for the ACT. She is the CEO of Heart Support Australia, a federally funded organisation that has operated for 28 years nationally providing peer support to individuals living with cardiac disease.
People suffering from cardiac disease and other heart conditions often need a positive health effort for the rest of their lives. Heart Support Australia works with individuals, health professionals and community organisations to establish maintenance programs and provide nationwide information, education, lifestyle and rehabilitation initiatives for heart patients, their carers and families to achieve positive health outcomes. Heart Support Australia is committed to reducing the instance of a second cardiac event due to stress and depression through providing best practice education and support.
“I am committed to ensuring urban, regional, rural and remote areas of Australia have direct access to Heart Support Australia’s programs and resources. Working collaboratively with other mental health organisations has ensured that a holistic, best practice service can be provided to individuals at a time of great stress as they navigate their journey back to good health and mental wellbeing.”
Find out more about the Friends and how to join at http://ruralhealth.org.au/friends