In September 2022, Remote Area Health Corps (RAHCs) Canberra-based team members travelled to the Northern Territory (NT). For Workforce Officers Kirsti and Jake, this was an excellent opportunity to catch up with the Territory-based RAHC team, Health Services and Health Professionals (HPs).
Their first stop was Darwin, visiting the RAHC Head Office for cross-team training with new and existing team members. After two days in Darwin, Kirsti and Jake were joined by Clinical Manager Emma and Operations Manager Tess on their next stop in Alice Springs. RAHC’s Alice Springs office is home to Workforce Officer Karl.
From Alice Springs, the team visited a few communities, including Utju, also known as Areyonga.
“I really appreciated the opportunity to visit the communities and meet with the Health Service teams,” said Workforce Officer Kirsti.
“I have been speaking with these team members over the phone or via email for years. Visiting the clinics and putting faces to names helped familiarise me with the environment and further develop our working relationship.”
“We also met with two RAHC Registered Nurses who were on placement,” Kirsti continued.
“Similarly to the Health Service team members, it isn’t often that we get to meet RAHC HPs, face-to-face, particularly as we are based in Canberra.”
Utju is an over two-hour drive east of Alice Springs. For Kirsti and Jake, this was the first time they’d travelled through central Australia. For Kirsti, the drive to Utju re-emphasised the importance of the RAHC support network and travel safety management plans.
“The safety management plans are designed to ensure HPs self-driving to community and RAHC team members take the correct safety precautions and considerations when driving remote,” Kirsti says.
“For example, Karl frequently drives remote and in preparation for our drive, we made sure to carry a satellite phone, water, tow equipment and more,” she continued.
“This is because there is often limited reception, traffic, and townships along the way, meaning getting help can be difficult if you don’t have reception or a support network looking out for you."