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Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

This service was established in Fitzroy in 1973 by the Koorie community to provide both primary and preventive health care services to Aboriginal people across the State. The service has a dual focus, providing employment and positive role models to Koorie people while also educating the wider community about the ways in which Koorie life experiences impact on both their health and their attitudes to health care providers. In addition to treating individuals, making referrals where necessary to external clinics known to be sympathetic, the service conducts a range of education and screening programs designed to tackle the community's health problems which, it argues, are a product of the history of poverty and dispossession of Koorie peoples. Described as 'a grass roots service, run by our people, for our people', the service also functions as a community centre, a place in the city where Koories from across the State can meet relatives and feel safe in asking for help. Staff from the centre also conduct clinics in Koorie settlements across rural Victoria.

Shurlee Swain

Nathan, P., 'A home away from home': A study of the Aboriginal Health Service in Fitzroy, Victoria, Preston Institute of Technology, Melbourne, 1980. Details