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12 January 2023
Jhiah Barker is our new Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer (ALO) with the Ngarra Jarra Aboriginal Health team. We caught up with him to find out what motivated him to become an ALO.
Jhiah, tell us a bit about yourself please.
My names Jhiah Barker, I’m a proud Nygena Walmatjarri man (in the Kimberly, Western Australia). I have a very strong passion for my culture, sport and giving back to the community.
I was born and raised on Wadawurrung country (Geelong). I was lucky enough to move to Darwin. During this time, I took the time to grow my personal skills whilst growing my cultural knowledge through time on country with community members.
How did you decide to become an ALO?
After seeing the Ngarra Jarra team work very closely with my mother and our family, I was convinced that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to give back to our culture and our people. As well as produce cultural awareness and support to staff.
What are some of the things you enjoy most in your role?
Being able to support staff, families and patients with any cultural enquiries that may be needed.
Also, being the link to our community within the hospital setting and making patients and families feel safe and supported!
Which Austin Health value do you feel you live out daily in your work?
Together we achieve - Our culture of collaboration means we work openly with our people, our community and beyond to achieve great outcomes.
In a year from now, what is the one most important thing you would like to achieve in your role?
In the next 12 months, I would love for our Ngarra Jarra team to grow and be even more recognised than what we are now. I have felt a big change from when I started to now and the growth has been huge. Imagine what it could look like in 12 months’ time?
Anything fun/interesting you’d like to share about yourself?
I am a proud member of the Southern Warriors and One Connexion Aboriginal dance groups. We perform for many different occasions, but my biggest performance was for the Wallabies v All Blacks Bledisloe Cup earlier this year.