Rob Currry

Biography

I have spent much of my working life as a physiotherapist and health programs manager in remote Aboriginal health care in the north of Australia.  My particular skills and experience lie in the areas of cross cultural primary health care planning and program management in the context of rural and remote health care. My approach to working in rural and remote health has been influenced by the international philosophy of Primary Health Care and the Australian model of Aboriginal community controlled health service delivery.

From 2001 to 2004 I was Programs Manager with the Tiwi Health Board on the Tiwi Islands north of Darwin where my principle roles were focused on health promotion and environmental health.  For a decade from 2004 I was employed with the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT) where program management in the areas of workforce support, quality and accreditation, chronic disease prevention and public health policy development were major responsibilities.  In these capacities I helped to secure funding for expanded programs of support for the Aboriginal community controlled sector in the NT.

After 30 years in the Top End I relocated to Ellenborough near Port Macquarie in 2013 where i now have a position supporting the Mid North Coast Aboriginal Health Authority, and also undertake small projects as a private health consultant.

Qualifications

  • Batchelor of Applied Science: Physiotherapy – 1980 (Lincoln Institute, Vic)
  • Grad dip Aboriginal Studies – 1990 (SA College of Advanced Education)
  • Masters of Science, Primary Health Care – 2000 (Flinders University)
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors certificate – 2013

Current Employment

Operations Manager, Mid North Coast Aboriginal Health Authority

Current Honorary Positions

  • Current member and past director of Australian Physiotherapy Association (2005-09)
  • Current Chair of SARRAH (Services for Australian Rural & Remote Allied Health)
  • Founding member and current director of North Coast Allied Health Association, NSW

 Passed Employment

  • 1981-82: Mount Royal Rehabilitation Unit – staff physiotherapist
  • 1982-83: Cleve District Health Services, SA – community physiotherapist
  • 1983-84: Katherine District Hospital, NT – sole physiotherapist
  • 1985-89: Royal Darwin Hospital – rotation physiotherapist
  • 1988-89: Royal Darwin Hospital – chief physiotherapist
  • 1989-98: Top End Remote Health Services – outreach physiotherapist
  • !998-99: NT Health Dept – special projects
  • 2000-01: NT Health Staff Development: remote health officer
  • 2001-04: Tiwi Health Board, Tiwi Islands – Programs Manager
  • 2004-13: Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of NT – Various roles including programs manager and acting CEO
  • 2013-current: Private health consultant
  • 2017-current: Operations Manager, Mid North Coast Aboriginal Health Authority, NSW

Recent Projects

  • 2014: Development of Durri Aboriginal Health community engagement strategy (Kempsey)
  • 2014: Development of the Mid North Coast Aboriginal Health Accord
  • 2014: Evaluation of Alpurrurulam Healthy Skin & Community Wellness Program (NTMCL)
  • 2015: Review of the AMSANT Indigenous Health Project Officer (IHPO) positions
  • 2016: Review of the Bulgarr Ngaru Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Programs (Grafton)
  • 2016 – present: President of Services for Australian Rural & Remote Allied Health (SARRAH)

Conclusion

Through my working involvements over many years I have developed extensive knowledge of rural health and Indigenous health care in particular.  I am conversant with the issues of chronic disease in Aboriginal communities and understand work required to improve the current picture, including the importance of prevention and better management, effective systems of health data collection and sharing for integrated care, culturally safety and security, and the requirement to address social determinants of health including Aboriginal employment.