Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG, Fortescue) has teamed up with South Hedland based Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (Wirraka Maya) in the fight to improve the health of local Aboriginal people.
Under an industry-first memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in March 2014, Fortescue and Wirraka Maya have improved health outcomes for more than 100 local Aboriginal people referred to Wirraka Maya through Fortescue’s Aboriginal Health and Wellness Program.
Fortescue’s Aboriginal Health and Wellness Program provides a vital link to health services for Aboriginal people engaged in the Fortescue Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) program and working in its Pilbara operations.
“By providing a dedicated Aboriginal health and wellness program, training and education, employment, and housing, Fortescue is looking at the bigger picture,” Fortescue’s Aboriginal Health Specialist, Monique Roberts, said.
“The partnership we’ve developed with Wirraka Maya has been instrumental in helping local Aboriginal people overcome health barriers to employment and to opening up life-changing opportunities, with benefits flowing on to the whole community.”
Wirraka Maya Aboriginal Health Practitioner Helen Edwards said it is always rewarding to see patients overcome health issues and go on to reach their goals.
“Many success stories have come out of the MOU between Wirraka Maya and Fortescue,” Ms Edwards said.
“Helping patients improve their health and secure their future is what motivates our team and keeps us focused on closing the gap. At Wirraka Maya our mission is to improve the status of Aboriginal people through access to dedicated healthcare services while meeting their social and cultural needs.
“Through its Aboriginal Health and Wellness Program and patient referrals Fortescue is helping us achieve this mission, and we’re proud to partner with them.”
Thursday 19 March 2015 is National Close the Gap Day, an Oxfam Australia initiative which serves to raise awareness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality and encourage the public to support real and measurable action towards the cause.