Pika Wiya Health Service call on members for new-born baby donations

Team Leader of Pika Wiya's Commonwealth Home Support Program Glen Wanganeen, Port Augusta Hospital's Kristen Besant and Pika Wiya's Bronwyn Warren with donation packs for the Anangu Bibi Birthing program.

Team Leader of Pika Wiya's Commonwealth Home Support Program Glen Wanganeen, Port Augusta Hospital's Kristen Besant and Pika Wiya's Bronwyn Warren with donation packs for the Anangu Bibi Birthing program.

Since the coronavirus hit, many people have taken to knitting and sewing to relieve stress and reduce anxiety.

Noticing an opportunity to harness these skills, Pika Wiya Health Service (PWHS) put out a call out for members to donate their handiwork with the hopes of distributing packs of clothing to the maternity ward at the Port Augusta Hospital.

CEO Cherrie Glasson said the idea was sparked by the corporation's Commonwealth Home Support Program.

"I noticed clients visiting PWHS from the APY Lands often were arriving in Port Augusta with very little clothing for themselves and for their children, particularly newborns," she said.

"There are no shops in the APY Lands, so having a new-born baby means many families regularly make do with hand me downs and clothes passed on from other families.

"I asked Glen (Team Leader) to keep an eye out if any of his clients sewed or knitted and to put the word out to encourage donations of handiwork and surplus newborn clothing to PWHS so that these items could then be gifted to people in need, particularly those who live in remote areas where often basic necessities are simply not available."

During Glen's visit to client Wendy Dartnell he was handed 30-40 packs containing wraps, knitted jumpers and clothing suitable for newborn babies.

Ms Dartnell hand-knitted all of the clothes and sourced a number of other items, such as blankets and wraps, from around the community.

The packs will be delivered to the maternity ward Anangu Bibi Birthing program at the Port Augusta Hospital for distribution to families who will no doubt appreciate the support and love and care that has gone into making the items.

Ms Glasson said the initiative was "all about caring for each other, utilizing talents and bringing the community together."

Board appoints three independent specialist directors

Pika Wiya was placed under examination by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) in November last year.

Recently the Board of Pika Wiya appointed three independent non-member specialist directors in a bid to improve its viability.

Chair of the Board, Aileen Shannon said she is pleased with the decision.

"The merit based process allowed the Board to meet and question each candidate and for the candidates to showcase their interest and professional qualifications that they believed will add value and assist Pika Wiya as it moves forward to provide an exceptional and high quality health service to our community," she said.

"The comprehensive merit-based process addresses our Rule Book requirements and is a very positive step in meeting ORIC compliance requirements."

Appointees Messrs Eric Brown, former Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson and Craig Fullerton will attend their first meeting in July.

They join with existing member director Board members Chairperson Aileen Shannon, Reggie Reid, Alwyn McKenzie, Teresa Brady and Barbara Amos.