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September 2021

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Northern Health Aboriginal liaison officer Stephanie Thomson, registered nurse Ashleigh Tabe, Aboriginal liaison officer Toni Gabelish, clinical support nurse Natalie Bloomfield, registered nurse Olivia Poynder and children’s ward nurse unit manager Courtney Lowry.

Colour me cultural

Northern Health’s Narrun Wilip-Giin – Aboriginal support unit – gifted culturally-designed children’s colouring books to all children in its Epping children’s ward during NAIDOC Week.

The book’s artwork has been created by Gary Saunders, a proud Bangerang, Yorta Yorta, Wiradjeri, Dja Dja Wurrung man.

It contains a selection of animals, birds and symbols that are important to Aboriginal people, such as the kangaroo.

The kangaroo is of cultural and spiritual significance to Aboriginal people across Australia.

Its meat has been a source of protein over the centuries and pelts were used for clothing, rugs, warmth and often crafted into water bags, for carrying water from water holes and rivers.

The environment is important to Aboriginal people and culture.

‘Caring for country is also necessary for the health of the land,’ said senior Aboriginal liaison officer Karen Bryant.

Aboriginal liaison officer Toni Gabelish said the children were excited to receive the colouring book.

‘Seeing the look on those beautiful little faces receiving such a simple, yet lovely, gift is very rewarding.’

The project was supported by the Northern Health Foundation.