Aboriginal Health at Barwon Health

Aboriginal health is 'everyone's business' and Barwon Health is committed to providing culturally responsive care for our local Aboriginal community, and to make an impact on improving the length and quality of the lives of local Aboriginal people.

Accessible health services are critical given the complex health conditions that many Aboriginal people face. Ensuring better access and culturally-sensitive care for Aboriginal people is a whole-of-service responsibility, and one that Barwon Health takes very seriously. Access to health care is well recognised as a key determinant of health, and Barwon Health also recognises this.

Cultural safety is a significant factor in accessibility of health care for our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Barwon Health’s strategic pillar “right care, right time, right place” addresses this effectiveness of care through improved levels of consumer service and cultural awareness. All Barwon Health staff are encouraged to complete the "Aboriginal Cultural Awareness for Staff" online training module.

Aboriginal Health Liaison Service
Barwon Health has an Aboriginal Health Liaison Service located at University Hospital Geelong. The service provides support and advocacy to Aboriginal patients and their families within the acute health setting during business hours.

Aboriginal Health Liaison Officers play a pivotal role within the hospital environment in facilitating the delivery of culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal patients and act as cultural brokers between Aboriginal patients and the hospital system enabling understanding of the needs of Aboriginal patients in the provision of health care.

The Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer promotes community liaison and provides practical support throughout departments within University Hospital Geelong, providing support for people who require access to the hospital as an inpatient or out patient.

The Aborginial Health Liaison Officer can
• Provide cultural and social support
• Support to attend appointments
• Explore different care options available to Aboriginal patients
• Provide support to Aboriginal families
• Talk about referrals
• Connect Aboriginal patients and their family with other services in the community
• Talk about discharge planning
• Talk to doctors and nurses at patient’s request

Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers

Office Hours: 8.30am – 4.30pm
Maree Coulson: 4215 0769 (Monday – Friday) email: mareecoul@barwonhealth.org.au
Shirley Abrahams 4215 0768 (Tuesday to Friday) email: sabraham@barwonhealth.org.au
Michael Ryan 4215 0768 (Monday and Tuesday) email: maryan@barwonhealth.org.au

Aboriginal Cultural Consultant

Gary Hamence: 4215 2423 or 0401 104 877 email: ghamen@barwonhealth.org.au

Aboriginal Health Policy and Projects

Libby Lesock: 4215 0765 or 0437 440 677 email: llesock@barwonhealth.org.au

 Click here to download Barwon Health's Acknowledgment of Country (PDF)

Traditional Owners

We, Barwon Health, acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the Elders both past and present.