As the Chair of our Foundation, earlier this month I was fortunate to accompany the SOS Health team on another outreach visit to the Yolngu Homelands in NE Arnhem Land.
Our long drive to their community made the need for our visit even more apparent. Its remoteness means the Yolngu people must be self-sustainable; there’s no jumping in the car and going to the doctor, dentist or physio when they’re sick or in pain. These people are reliant on the healthcare provided by outreach services, many waiting months to see someone.
We were greeted like old friends when we arrived. Community members now recognise our SOS Health shirts and eagerly line up before we’re even out of the truck to have their concerns attended to. The kids are also excited to see us as there are few visitors, and they quickly show me a baby crocodile to hold and play with.
It was a wonderful few days. Being out in the field energises and refocuses you but there is no doubt that it also highlights the great disparities in the provision and funding of healthcare – and this can be heartbreaking. Outreach missions like this reinforce the need for organisations like SOS Health and fundraising efforts like work4significance Day. These efforts are vital not only for raising funds to provide healthcare to disadvantaged Australians but for raising awareness of the issues many in our country face every day – just in trying to survive.
And this is where I say thank you.
By choosing to partner with SOS Health, you’ve committed to being significant. You make a difference to people’s lives every day.
And all those who joined with us on Tuesday 6 September for Work4Signficance Day made a difference to many more lives – the lives of people that might be living below the poverty line on the streets of some of our major cities or living like the Yolngu people, in a remote community with no access to quality healthcare services.
It was great to see so many photos of different practice teams celebrating the day. The efforts that went into the day not only donating ‘treatments for treatments’ but baking all those cakes and biscuits, volunteering to be personally trained by your clients and running competitions to raise money was inspirational.
Through these efforts, and many like it, you have all contributed to sending over 220 volunteers in the last 3 years and delivering thousands of treatments to disadvantaged Australians. I’m extremely proud to be associated with such a committed, giving group of people and to know that what we are doing makes a real, tangible difference to people’s lives.
On behalf of the Board of the SOS Health Foundation I would like to sincerely thank all of you for your support of work4signficance Day. We look forward to continuing to build the day each year within the allied health sector so we can expand our services and help many more people.