Dr Claire St John’s locum assignment in the outback.

Working with Aboriginal communities at Tennant Creek.

In May this year, Dr. Claire St.John did a 3 week locum working in Tennant Creek at an Aboriginal run medical centre, “Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation”.

This was Claire’s second locum position in a remote Aboriginal community, having worked in west Arnhem land in 2012.

She went as part of the Australian Government’s initiative to “Close the Gap” between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians (by improving the life expectancy, chronic disease rates and child mortality amongst Indigenous Australians).

The locum service, funded by the Australian Government, is able to place city GPs in remote areas of need. They are short term placements which enables GPs to continue their regular jobs back home.

The town of Tennant Creek, population 3000, is in the middle of the Northern Territory between Alice Springs and Darwin. It has a largely Indigenous population and long term residents and “grey nomad” tourists alike are laid back and friendly.

The town is surrounded by a gorgeous coloured landscape of red soil, spinifex, small gums and low hills with rocky outcrops. In the current dry season, the days are consistently sunny (around 28 degrees) with cloudless blue skies.

Claire worked at the medical centre in town named “Anyinginyi Health” which has long and short-term staff consisting of GPs, nurse practitioners, Aboriginal Health Workers as well as visiting dentists, audiologists and specialist doctors.

To read the full story view our Spring 2015 Newsletter.