The Aboriginal community has had an important involvement in the history of the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service (PLAHS), in particular, in the founding of the service.
The establishment of the PLAHS was a result of a number of Reports and Submissions put to both the Commonwealth and State Governments from the mid 1980’s onwards.
PLAHS was established in 1992 with the assistance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and the South Australian Health Commission through the National Aboriginal Health Strategy.
Mid to late 1980s
After a number of submissions and reports put to both the Commonwealth and State Governments outlining the needs of the Port Lincoln Aboriginal community throughout the mid to late 1980’s the foundations of what would be called the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service in the future, had begun.
May 1992, Paul Ashe was appointed as the Health Service Co-ordinator to oversee the early establishment phase of the health service.
June 1992, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) issued a Capital Establishment Grant for renovations of a building, furniture, fittings and medical equipment in addition to recurrent funds for the recruitment of staff.
During the same period the South Australian Health Commission made an area available within the Health and Welfare Complex on Oxford Terrace which continues to be where we are located.
On the 3rd of September 1993 Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. was officially opened at 19A Oxford Terrace during the International Year of Indigenous Peoples by Lowitja O’Donoghue, who was at the time, Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).
Iris Burgoyne was elected as the Inaugural Chairperson of Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc.
Successfully gained the Healthy 4 Life Program which gave Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. the opportunity to employ 4 new staff.
This program and funding evolved over time with some the concepts being embedded within the service.
A patient information system called Communicare was installed to assist in management operations of patient records and is still in place today.
Capital Works enabled the closure of the thoroughfare to the then, Investigator Clinic allowing Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. to become a stand-alone premises.
The first Child and Maternal Health Program was established and this program continues to be an essential area of the service to this day.
During 2010 Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. began implementing staff discussion and training around whole of organisation Accreditation.
Being an Accreditation organisation would demonstrate that Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. has met nationally recognised standards and is dedicated to ensuring the highest standards of quality, safety and continuous improvement in the services provided to the community and individual.
Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. employed an Accreditation Support Officer to assist with the whole of organisation accreditation process.
During 2013 Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. became whole of organisation accredited with Quality Innovation Performance (QIP).
The 3rd of September 2013 the service celebrated its 20 Year Anniversary with an Open Day and Community BBQ. Board of Management and staff alongside community members, other service providers and stakeholders all celebrated together partaking in all the festivities.
The Better Start Program was implemented which complemented the existing Child and Maternal Health Program allowing Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. to employ 2 additional staff.
After a severe state-wide blackout, Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc. purchased and installed a generator to ensure that future service delivery would be minimally disrupted in the event of another serious weather event.
Dr Alex van Rooijen became the first doctor employed at Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service.