Aunty Val Dahlstrom, our Aboriginal Liaison Officer based in Moree, has recently resigned her position. GP Synergy acknowledges, and thanks Val for her contribution and guidance over the years which has shaped our current resolve to help ‘close the gap’ in the health for Indigenous Australians.
Val’s fellow staff from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Education Unit (ACEU) were able to catch-up with her in Moree yesterday before her farewell event. The event included GP Synergy CEO John Oldfield reflecting on the many contributions Aunty Val has made to the organisation. Along with staff of the ACEU, Chair and CEO of Pius X Aboriginal Corporation Cathy Duncan and Donna Taylor also paid tribute to Aunty Val.
Val a Kamilaroi woman, was employed by the Area Health Service for over thirty-five years in the area of Aboriginal health. She was instrumental in shaping many programs that continue to support the Aboriginal community, and is a key figure in numerous reviews, and publications. She was instrumental in developing the first Aboriginal Health Worker Award, health service review following the ‘Brereton Report’, and the hand-over by the Catholic Diocese of Pius X Medical Service to an Aboriginal management committee. She is the longest serving Chairperson at Pius X; a member of the NSW Aboriginal Advisory Committee to the NSW Bi-Centennial Committee; and a member of the National Aboriginal Advisory group to the National Bicentennial Authority. Val was also elected as a representative to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission for the Kamilaroi Region and was Chairperson for the first three-year term. More recently Val served on the executive committee of the Cultural Educators and Mentors network in AGPT.
Val first joined GP Synergy when we amalgamated with New England Area Training Service back in 2009. Since then Val has helped direct relationships and engagement with the network of Aboriginal community controlled health services across NSW and ACT. She has always been reliable and knowledgeable, and is a highly respected Elder in the community.
We wish her good health, and all the very best for the future.