Making a Difference is Easy for Volunteer Physios

“Do ordinary things with extraordinary love” Mother Teresa

Kane - Yilpara

In Yilpara, a homeland three hours drive from Nhulunbuy, a young male came in to see the Physiotherapist in our temporary clinic, his complaint was that he was unable to play his guitar in his band as his wrist hurt every time he played. It also hurt when he put weight on it. Like so many others, he was initially tentative to see us at all, and not very open to the idea of talking to us. He only had a pain in his wrist.

Perceived by the client as a small thing, if left untreated, the wrist problem could potentially become a chronic issue for this young man. An issue that could not only affect the quality of life now, but could also affect his daily activities in the Homeland. Being unable to painlessly spear fish or hunt for food may be something that could greatly affect his contribution to his family and community in the future.

The work the physios do is what they have trained for, something they do everyday. Yet working with the right attitude, care and concern can build trust and confidence and a positive experience for the shy, gentle Yolgnu. After successfully treating the young man he opened up to us, and also began telling others in his Homeland about our service. As a result, the next day we treated a large number of people in this community with a range of issues.

This is a typical story our volunteer physios encounter when working in remote areas of NE Arnhem Land.  Over the past 18 months the Yulgnu people have increasingly welcomed the work we are doing. Partnering with Laynhapuy Health, an aboriginal owned community organisation that supports up to 30 homelands in the region, our volunteer physiotherapists travel out with medical teams (nurses and doctors) to provide a health service that the Yulgnu people liken to “bush medicine”, a very hands on approach to providing relief to physical aches and pains.

We are making a difference.

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