7 June 2022

Murrumbidgee Indigenous community to help inform region's health service updates

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Hands holding coffees

With no set agenda, conversation will be community-led at Yarns on the Couch. Photo: File.

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) is seeking feedback on health needs specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Wagga to incorporate into its updated Murrumbidgee region Health Needs Assessment.

MPHN Aboriginal Health Manager Melinda Green said it was a step towards tackling the disparity in health and wellbeing experienced by the region’s indigenous population.

“This data will assist with addressing the poorer health outcomes experienced by Aboriginal people when compared to national data, and it is vital we hear from as many people as possible,” she said.

MPHN will be gathering community feedback through two online surveys and a Yarns on the Couch event.

Held on Wednesday 8 June at the Tolland Community Hub from 1 pm to 3 pm, Yarns on the Couch will form part of the Conversations on the Couch initiative designed for the Network to tap into locals’ experiences.

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Flyer for Conversations on the Couch

The Conversations on the Couch initiative designed for the Network to tap into locals’ experiences. Photo: MPHN.

Every year staff from MPHN will visit several towns with a population greater than 1000 for a drop-in session to gather feedback from the community.

The sessions allow community members to voice their concerns about local health, challenges and health services issues and to suggest improvements.

MPHN has no set agenda and conversation is led by local community members.

Tolland Community Centre coordinator Stacey Prigg said she was excited Yarns on the Couch was coming to Wagga Wagga and encouraged the community to get involved.

“Yarns on the Couch is an important opportunity for community members to come together and share their views and experiences about health and help guide positive improvements to health outcomes for people in the Wagga Wagga region,” Ms Prigg said.

Those who can’t attend can still provide their feedback via a two-question survey or an in-depth community survey.

The mini survey, which asks what is important to you about health and what could be done to improve health can be found here.

The more in-depth 17-question community feedback survey can be found here.

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All feedback will be collated and used for MPHN to develop its 2022-2024 Health Needs Assessment for the Murrumbidgee region.

This document will assist MPHN in identifying opportunities to improve health outcomes for people living across the Murrumbidgee, particularly vulnerable populations.

For more information on the Health Needs Assessment, visit the MPHN website.

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