Canberra’s Lydia Williams Scores Goals With Bridging the Gap Foundation

In June, Bridging the Gap Foundation teamed up with Matilda’s goalkeeper, the proud Noongar woman and Canberra local Lydia Williams to help the growing Indigenous healthcare crisis in the Northern Territory.

Ms Williams is raising money for the Ramaciotti Regional and Remote Health Sciences Training Center (Menzies-Ramaciotti Centre) following a severe and systemic shortage of health workers, particularly Indigenous staff, which is putting enormous pressure on the health care system.

This is one of the driving factors behind continued poor health outcomes and unacceptable health disparities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Bridging the Gap says.

The overcrowded, underfunded and understaffed hospitals rely on fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers due to a lack of investment in career paths for local people to enter the health workforce. The Foundation revealed that employee turnover is estimated at around 148 percent.

“I am proud to partner with Bridging the Gap Foundation to raise money for the Menzies-Ramaciotti Center interns,” said Ms Williams.

“I understand the importance of culturally appropriate health programs and I would like to promote awareness campaigns that emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle. This campaign kicks these goals for me.”

The Foundation’s goal for this campaign is to develop scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to train at the Menzies-Ramaciotti Center and become the Indigenous health professionals the Northern Territory needs to provide adequate care to vulnerable communities.

Bridging the Gap Foundation Vice President and former Essendon player Dean Rioli said: “Bridging the Gap Foundation exists to fund health and education programs and pathways for our Indigenous youth, improve health outcomes and bridge the eight-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“We are very pleased to have the support of Ludia Williams to help us with our campaign.”

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