Mother of six, Anthea Anthony, is in her second year of completing her Certificate IV as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner, and recently attended the Katherine Remote Health Experience as part of her studies.
The Batchelor Institute student was one of a handful of students from the organisation to attend the Flinders Rural and Remote Health NT program.
The program gave participants an insight into the hurdles remote area work could present to health staff. Students learned how to treat a snake bite, look for trachoma and how to work in a health emergency in a remote location.
Ms Anthony hails from the remote community of Amanbidji and is from the Ngaringman clan on the Mirriwong/Gajerrong lands (NT/WA boarder). The community is inaccessible during the wet season except by air – with supplies required to be flown in.
She was inspired to study to become an AHP with the hope of one day returning to Amanbidji to serve her community.
“Growing up in a remote community there’s little to no employment especially for women, after having kids of my own (six kids) I wanted to make sure my kids get a better start in life or be exposed to a better environment, so I relocated to find employment out of my community,” Ms Anthony said.
“I would like to eventually return to my community (Amanbidji) and be a role model to other young parents and kids and pass on my skills and knowledge that I have gained living away from home, but also deliver the message in a professional way because of the disadvantages that my community as well as other remote communities face on a daily basis.”
Ms Anthony works for the Katherine West Health Board and said the Remote Health Experience offered her an opportunity to learn from others but also share her experience of remote health as an Indigenous person and remote community resident.
“It was a pleasure and an overwhelming experience attending the Remote Health Experience, but I was quite surprised that others who attended were more overwhelmed with the experiences we/AHPs shared with them about our situation delivering health in remote locations,” she said.