Lorna Murakami Gold: working with the Purple House to improve patients and their family’s experiences of Kurrunpa Wanka (a good life) in the most remote parts of Australia
Purple House is an innovative Indigenous-owned and run health service operating from its base in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Now operating 18 remote clinics and a mobile dialysis unit called the Purple Truck (pictured above), Purple House is getting patients back home so that families and culture can remain strong.
With a background in health, education and training, and Indigenous health research, Lorna became interested in Purple House’s activities when she first moved to Alice Springs in 2010. In particular, she was impressed by CEO Sarah Brown’s drive and passion in making things happen in an Aboriginal community controlled health service, led by and for Aboriginal people, that has the capacity to dramatically improve the quality of life for people on dialysis.
“This is one of those organisations that makes you so proud,” says Lorna. “It ticks so many boxes: it meets the needs of community members, it changes the lives of patients and their families, it’s run by and for Aboriginal people. This is the real deal.”
As the Poche Research Fellow for the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health in Alice Springs, and a Doctoral candidate in Public Health, Lorna is in an ideal position to undertake qualitative research with the Purple House to find out patients’ and their family’s experiences of ‘Kurrunpa Wanka’ (a good life) while on dialysis. “The synergies between Flinders, Poche and Purple House are remarkable,” says Lorna. “Together we can make a positive impact on the quality of life for people in dialysis, particularly those in remote communities. This is a huge leap – it’s something that wouldn’t even have been imaginable let alone manageable in these communities in the recent past.”
“And the longer-term benefits for each of the stakeholders will be tangible. I couldn’t imagine a more worthwhile research project”.