Excellent: Tharawal medical service gets top marks from Linda Burney

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If Labor win the May 21 election, the thousands of Indigenous people who live in Campbelltown will have an extra reason to celebrate.

Linda Burney, who would replace Ken Wyatt as Minister for Indigenous Australians, is a very good friend of the local Aboriginal community.

Speaking at the Airds premises of the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation Aboriginal Medical Service this morning, Ms Burney said she has known the chief executive officer, Darryl Wright, for more than 30 years.

Ms Burney praised the work of the medical service, which she said was making a difference to the local Aboriginal community.

She joined Mr Wright and local MP Mike Freelander to announce that an Anthony Albanese government would invest $520,000 in the Tharawal medical service at Airds. The trio are pictured above.

“First Nations people have the worst health in the country,’’ Ms Burney said.

“Organisations like Tharawal play a critical role of addressing the health inadequacies.

“I’ve known Daryl Wright for 30-40 years, I know the role of Tharawal, and the excellence in health care it provides to this part of the world,’’ Ms Burney said.

Dr Freelander echoed her words: “Daryl Wright has been instrumental in making Tharawal one of the best, if not the best, indigenous health services in the country.

“It is the envy of the rest of Australia, but I’m a bit like Oliver Twist: I want more, I think there’s many more things we can do in Indigenous health to make it come up to par with the rest of the population, from diabetes to aged care,’’ Dr Freelander said.

Mr Wright thanked the Labor politicians before saying: “There’s a long way to go to close the gap on health.

“What we’re doing here is changing people’s lives, turning their lives around.

“But it is a community effort, the board and staff working together like one big family.’’

Tharawal medical service currently offers a range of programs, including allied health services, dental care, and a range of outreach services in mental health, exercise and nutrition.

Labor’s commitment will mean Tharawal can expand the services available to the community with renal and ECG facilities, and upgraded equipment.

The Macarthur community is currently home to almost 6,000 Indigenous people, while the overall population of the region is estimated to grow to 600,000 by 2036.

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