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Who Ya Gunna Call?

Mid North Coast Local Health District
Project Added:
12 March 2015
Last updated:
25 March 2015

Who Ya Gunna Call?


Each year a one day event is held during NAIDOC week to bring communities, government and non-government, as well as health service providers together in a non-threatening way to improve and promote access to health services, especially for Aboriginal people and communities in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA). 

Presentation from Rural Innovations Changing Healthcare (RICH) 2015.


To promote and improve access to health services, especially for Aboriginal people and Communities within the Coffs Harbour LGA.


  • Improved knowledge and access to health services for Aboriginal people. 
  • Improved outcomes for Aboriginal people and populations, through greater understanding and information about their culture and health needs.
  • Improved communication and collaboration between community and health service providers.

Project Status

Sustained: the project has been implemented, is sustained in standard business.


The concept came about due to a need to engage with community, about their health needs and outcomes. The Aboriginal Community have always asked and sought input into what government and community services are available to cater to their cultural needs.

Aboriginal health services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) cannot meet all the health service needs of Aboriginal people, further emphasising the need for more effective responsive partnerships where Aboriginal Health is considered core business.

Who Ya Gunna Call? is about bringing community and service providers together in a non-threatening or judgmental way to allow the community to meet service providers on “neutral” ground. This helps to prepare the community so that if the need arose at a later stage to engage with that service, the community would feel more at ease after the friendly introduction provided on this day.


Planning begins each January for a whole one day event during NAIDOC week, which is the second week in July. 

The MNCLHD Aboriginal Health team holds the event to promote and improve access to services for Aboriginal people and communities within Coffs Harbour LGA.

Organisations set up information booths and meet and greet the community. 

Aboriginal Health MNCLHD, conduct a community "listening" post to discuss their experiences. This is an opportunity for community to relay their experiences whilst they were visiting the hospital services, an opportunity for an informal patient journey discussion to happen.

In recent years board members have been available to meet and greet community and this has created an avenue for community participation in relevant discussion groups that require an Aboriginal cultural perspective.


Partnerships can share the costs of running such an event, but mostly partnerships encourage all services to have a role in improving the life expectancy of Aboriginal communities.

Implementation sites

This event has been held at the Norm Jordan Pavilion at Coffs harbour Showground, this venue is currently large enough to cater to the growing crowd of services and community. Venue must be large enough to provide a safe environment for pedestrians and vehicle access. 


In 2014 there were 1400 community people and 70 service providers who participated in the day. Members of the community were invited to be a part of a survey by answering questions in a Patient Experience Tracker (PET).

Patient Experience Tracker showing questions to evaluate the event


Overall Feedback Score 94.2
Number of Surveys 107
Q1: Did you know that the Mid North Coast Local Health District runs this event forum?

Yes: 84, 79%

No: 20, 19%

Unsure: 3, 3%

Q2: How did you hear about this event?

Email: 48, 45%

Letter in the mail: 2, 2%

Newspaper: 4, 4%

Word of Mouth: 53, 50%

Q3: Do you come to this event mainly to get information from the service providers or to have a family fun day?

To get information: 35, 33%

To have a family fun day: 6, 6%

Both: 51, 48%

Neither: 15, 14%

Q4: Did you find the information received useful?

Very Useful: 100, 93%

Neutral: 5, 5%

Not applicable: 2, 2%

Q5: This event is an important activity for me and my family

Strongly Agree: 76, 71%

Agree: 25, 23%

Neither agree nor disagree: 5, 5%

Disagree: 1, 1%

Lessons Learnt

The first event saw the community split into groups to discuss the Local Aboriginal Health plan. This allowed the community to have ownership of the plan, which was received very well. The event has continued to grow each year.

The 3 main lessons have been:

  1. Not allowing any money to exchange hands, as some people used the event to sell goods, such as Aboriginal art or artefacts and raffle tickets. This has the potential for the community feeling that the Health Service have endorsed a product and the event could start to look like a community markets.
  2. To know exactly what service is attending and what they are promoting and ensure they are appropriate to the community.
  3. Having sufficient staff available to ensure the event is set up and runs smoothly and catering is efficient.  Extra staff, especially ‘floaters’ will allow for greater safety and security and minimise issues by identifying these early.


Richard Widders
Aboriginal Health Coordinator, Coffs Clinical Network
Mid North Coast Local Health District
Phoen: 02 6656 7845

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