E21 How a health clinic on a school campus is improving Indigenous health

An Introduction to Ngak Min Health with Charmaine Nicholls, Melanie Dunstan and Matthew Carson

Indigenous Australians have an average life expectancy 19 years below that of wider Queensland and an unparalleled lack of access to healthcare services.  And the health gaps start early.  So what if we could improve early intervention by opening a holistic health clinic on an Indigenous school campus?

Introducing Ngak Min Health, a clinic co-located on the grounds of Djarragun College in Gordonvale, just south of Cairns.

On this episode of Time to Listen, we speak with Ngak Min Health General Manager Charmaine Nicholls, Nurse Practitioner Melanie Dunstan and Doctor Matthew Carson.

Being located on a college campus helps Ngak Min reduce inequalities in health outcomes by developing health-seeking behaviour and giving control to the students and families to make decisions about their own health.

Of the student population who attend Ngak Min, 10% already have a chronic diagnosis and more than 75% did not have a health check in the 12 months before their enrolment.

"The advantage for us working in this space is that we have a school here, so we can screen the school kids and pick up things before they even get sick. We have the opportunity to do health promotion so we can teach kids how to brush your teeth, how to cough, how to a clean your ears, how to look after your skin... We've got a great opportunity to change lives and change lives early," says Mel, Ngak Min Health Nurse Practitioner.

Thank you for taking the time to listen.


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