Holistic health in the Goldfields thanks to Leonora initiative

Press Release

Students in some of Western Australia’s most remote areas have taken part in a ‘health literacy’ event organised by a pair of St John WA legends from Leonora.

Community paramedic Dave Kennedy and Leonora Sub Centre chair Lupe Tavake wanted to create a holistic experience for local children focusing on various aspects of health, from mental wellbeing to personal hygiene, to empower the youth with essential knowledge and help address gaps in Indigenous health.

This is how Warnkarunku Day was born.

Warnkarunku means “good health, good healing”, and was suggested as a name for the day by Wangatha elder Cheryl Cotterill.

It was also the name of an RFDS plane which used to serve the local community.

Originally, the event intended to target the five schools in the region: Wiluna, Leinster, Leonora, Laverton, and Menzies. However, unfortunate circumstances led to the withdrawal of Wiluna and Leinster just before the event.

Nonetheless, three schools were still able to participate, with a total of 100 students attending on May 23.

The event was organised in a speed dating-style format where health organisations and mining organisations each presented 15 minutes of information and activities.

After each session, the sound of an ambulance siren signalled it was time to move to the next station.

The goal was to equip students with essential knowledge for making informed health choices in the future.

They explored many topics including the impact of sugar on the body, the importance of nutritious food choices and exercise, the principles of good hygiene, techniques for putting an unconscious patient into the lateral position, the benefits of mindfulness, ear health, and the importance of making good financial choices.

Warnkarunku Day was made possible through the generous contributions of Minara Resources, Goldfields Agnew Mine, and the Leonora Shire, as well as WA Country Health, Bega Garnbirringu Health Service, Earbus Foundation of WA, Anglicare WA, Centrecare, Goldfields Rehabilitation Services, Hope Community Services, Headspace, Genesis Minerals, and Sodexo.

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