COVER STORY: IWC director and Aboriginal elder Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian with the 2017 Closing the Gap - Prime Minister's Report.
COVER STORY: IWC director and Aboriginal elder Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian with the 2017 Closing the Gap - Prime Minister's Report. Simon Young

Recognition for IWC in Closing the Gap report

BUNDY'S IWC has been recognised by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the work it is delivering to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in our communities.

It has been presented as a success story case study in the 2017 Closing the Gap - Prime Minister's Report, released on Tuesday.

The IWC is featured on the front cover of the document as well as having a photo story in the Healthy Lives chapter.

Under the headline "outstanding local solutions delivering exciting outcomes”, the PM's report recognised the IWC delivers services to about 93% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the Bundaberg region.

IWC director and Aboriginal elder Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian said the organisation was thrilled to have its work recognised at the federal level.

"This is an important document, a piece of information that is widely read and discussed. IWC is very glad to have the work being done in our regions, which are ones of high disadvantage, recognised by the Prime Minister,” she said.

"We hope it will help us take our work forward and continue to transform lives for the highest good.”

The IWC also is the largest employer of indigenous peoples in the region, with almost half of its team being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Since the IWC started primary health care operations in 2007, the rate of indigenous people in the Wide Bay attending primary health care each year has risen from 43% to 84%.

This compared with 54% nationally.

IWC director and traditional owner Stirling Eggmolesse said IWC used a unique model used to deliver closing the gap initiatives.

"It is whole of person, based on Aboriginal Terms of Reference which mean our service's focus is not primarily taken up with the client's health need,” he said.

"Instead, we focus on how our clients can see his or her capacity and, in partnership with IWC, take responsibility to meet their own health needs.

"Are we Closing the Gap? Definitely. Can we do more? You bet.”