Tuesday, 1 February 2022

 Well its tuesday afternoon,  It has been a difficult couple of days.  I am waiting to head to the police station to see if one of the Police officers will act as mediator between a couple of people in community.  quite a bit of bad blood and it needs to be calmed down.

We have enought to worry about at the moment with Covid on the borders of the lands.  the police are doing their best to limit travel between WA and SA.  Not easy with this mob who just cant understand the danger.

I am trying to make plans for a quick trip to Adelaide to see a surgeon.  I have had a bit of an accident and have a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder.  At time painfull, always uncomfortable, needs surgery, just wondering how and when with the current inter state border issues and having to sort my dogs while I am away.

I have a worrying leak from one of the gutters in the kitchen at keswick.  I am hoping when I am down, I can meet a plumber and see what we need to sort it.  I will be limited for time.  Probably I will need to quaranteen in Alice before being able to get over the boder to WA.

Apart from reporting for government, sorting the kitchen rules book before the food auditor arrives, updating the book of rules for community care project officers, time is busy thinking and discussing plans for when Covid arrives on Ngaanyatjarra Lands.  

A muddly and busy time.  This morning the police rang to check up on three community members who were at a nearby community and they were trying to assess whether they had crossed the border to SA.  Trouble for the is they have and management issues for us to quaranteen them and test them for Covid.





Friday, 18 June 2021

 A day, a week of mixed blessings.

As always there are difficulties with work bases and staffing.  At the moment the worst problem is the biggest community, Warburton.

I will go over next week and stay a few days to help the centre and to see what is going on, what is the problem.  I have asked to employ a cook, I think this will sort a number of issues.

I have for a while had a thought bubble about a training program run in each of the work bases with the schools.  It has not been easy to get good information or suggestions from the schools.  If I talk to the senior teacher or the head honcho in warakurna, the answer is yes we would love to participate in such a scheme but if I ask for advise or suggestions about how this would work, I get a no response, no feedback.  So, I have been doing a bit of research in to this as and when I have time. To day I actually got a call back and some positive feedback.

I have arranged to meet up with this person in august and we will thrash out a concept and see where it takes us.  I am feeling a bit more position about the idea now.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

 I write so little these days.  I can hardly believe that we are well over a year into Covid.  vaccinations will roll out here soon, Ng Health has done a deal with the Flying Doctor, so I anticipate my first shot about the 28th June.  After all the fear of Covid and the possibility of it getting into the lands, I am tentatively breathing a sigh of relief,  the sooner this mob get the jab the better.

I am back in the Blackstone office after a big trip to Kiwirrkurra, firstly to hold the seat until a new employee could be found and then to meet with the manager of NRM and the Acting GM of the nealth service to look at options for the kitchen upgrade.  An upgrade much overdue.  Pretty exciting to think it will actually happen.

We are  having our first kitchen audit this week, so fingers crossed for our 4 registered kitchen, the staff work hard and hopefully the Auditor will appreciate their efforts.

Next week we start a two week training round, I will drive to Yulara to pick up Tony the traininer and we will start at Blackstone.  Due to Covid it has been a year since we had the regular training that we need to keep our staff equiped and with a good attitude towards the tasks needed to keep our service running smoothly.  It has been difficult with the isolation that Covid has foisted on us, to keep local workers engaged in the job.  Next year we hope to work with the schoold on a training program, starting with year 10 students which will grow interest and excitements regarding work programs in Ng Health.  Fingers crossed?

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Here I am, sitting quietly in my office, hard to believe, I have been on the road almost constantly for the last year.

I now have a permanent staff member at Warburton, and possibly staff members for each of the other seven manned Care Centres, juggling staff for routine leave can be a problem, but not insurmountable.

Along comes Covid-19, who would believe it, makes the last 12 months of difficulty, look like a holiday.  I am frankly very scared.  The people on Ngaanyatjarra Lands are vulnerable.  The government and the Council are working hard to keep the virus out of the lands.

The roads in are closed, the police are manning the major roads,  already there have been vehicle turn arounds.

The community is working towards a cohesive plan, to educate the locals of the danger, to set up strategies of cleanliness and social isolation to assist in preventing any infection.  At this point, there does not seem to be any of the illness evident, one hopes this continues.

The community as identified possible isolation accommodation places if needed. the clinic has a designated area to assess people who display anything like a symptom that could be the virus.

Getting staff out for  due leave or back in after leave is problematic.  We will work with this as the most important thing is keeping the lands free of the virus.

We are encouraged not to travel between communities, unless absolutely necessary.  So today I am setting up my first Zoom meeting with my Care Project Officers.  A few important issues we need to cover.

Stay strong and stay safe, it is vital we all follow the recommendation of the medical professionals to avoid the spread of this dreadful Viral infection.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Here I am in sunny downtown Kiwirrkurra, it is saturday morning and I am listening to the music show on ABC radio via my phone.

It is the end of week 1 when I have been holding the fort for Bruno while he is on leave.

The first thing I need to say is that Bruno earns his pay :-)  I often report that Kiwirrkurra is one of the nicest Care Centres we have on the Lands and that is true, it is also like being in the inside of a cement mixer, People calling and wanting and there are 6 CDP participant workers that one is trying to give direction and keep focused for the service time.  I have aged 10 years this week :-)  I have also come down with a rather nasty Viral infection. It is ages since I caught anything nasty out on the lands.  When I first started working in this environment, I used to come down with all sorts of infections, I have become a manic hand washer and I believe I have developed a resistance to the kind of things that go around out here.  Non the less, this week I have fallen in a big way, I feel like shit.

I had intended to spend this weekend sorting the stores for the women's centre, working out a menu for the week, trying to make it easier to coordinate the ladies I work with.

I have tried coordinating their work start time, so I do not have  6 people with not concept of shared work, all trying to do the same thing or stop doing anything and having breakfast instead.

I want a couple to come in at 7.30 then the rest at 9.00 am.  that way I can set up and coordinate work activities in a slightly easier way.  These are lovely ladies who have never had someone coordinate their time, I am trying to set up "start a job and finish a job" concepts, a little success and a lot of failure thus far. 

I had plans of a well planned cleaning routine and of setting up some of the colour coded set up for Bruno, he is so far out of the loop, he does not get the help that he deserves.

Best thing is the electricians have some and installed a new air con for Bruno, he has had a sorry time during the very hot summer out here.
Back in Keswick, readying for my drive back to the lands. A bit of car trouble and on the way down I left my ute with Harris mechanics at Pt Broughton. Amy and I will catch the bus to Pt Broughton tomorrow, stay the night at the Sunniside motel, collect the car and head on to Pt Augusta to pick up my dogs from Roger at the Red Gum doggy holiday camp. Amy will bus back to Adelaide and I will head on, hoping to reach Glendambo thursday night. I will go back the long way, down the docker road. the corrugations on the Mulga Park road between Kalka and Piplyatjarra are shcoking and I have no doubt are the reason for the broken engine mount in my ute.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

time flies

Here I am sitting on my bed with Hurley, one of the dogs, at keswick, down for Amy's 42 birthday. I am thinking of recent times at Blackstone when I was sitting in the dark, in the back yard, waiting for the big eclipse. My dogs thought I was out of my mind, it was 1 degree C, bright moonlight and I was rugged up with coffee, sitting in one of my camp chairs, looking at the moon. Mars was very bright and it seemed to be coming closer to me as I watched. I was confused about what the eclipse was, the earth blocking the sun from the moon or mars blocking the sun from the moon. slowly the shadow began to form over the moon, as predicted, it took a long time and quite a darkness fell over my back yard. the moon turned a burnt orange colour, quite dramatic. Mars still shone very bright. When talking with my son Patrick about this event, he explained that in NZ the timing was not good and they did not get this view. For me it was quite wonderful and mostly cloud free. while talking to Patrick it brought to mind the last time Mars was close to the earth, about 15 years earlier. I was working for Papulankutja Artists and had taken the ladies to Alice for a Desart Inc Meeting. We went in my old Diahatsu 1 ton van. I was on L Plates, I had never had a drivers license, I was reliant on one of my artists with a current license to supervise me for the trip. We returned from Alice via Mutitjulu, I thought the ladies would like to see their art work hanging in the culture centre at Uluru. We set up camp at a deserted "sorry" area in mutitjulu, the ladies using Christopher's huge blue Canadian tarp and I camped in the van with the wafting scent of ripe cooked kangaroo. I saw Mars rise before Uluru, stunning! very excited I pointed it out to the ladies, they could care less :-). I watched Mars rise into the sky in this amazing place, we were camped very close to the rock and it was quite overwhelming. In the morning I rose early and watched Mars set over the rock, what a site, something I will never forget. It was amazing to think that I would twice get to see such a site in such an amazing place. Life on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands is quite wonderful at times. A very special place.