My name is Darryl Cameron and I am a respectful person of Aboriginal descent (Jardwadjali, Ngarrindjeri, and Boandik) and accepted as such in the community in which I reside (Murray Bridge SA).
I am a married person (Linda) and have 2 adult children and 2 grandsons.
I have a Master’s Degree in Public Health (completed in 2011 and graduated in 2012, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Geelong Victoria) and more recently completed an advanced Nursing diploma (Div.2 in June 2018).
I did my 10 weeks of acute and aged care placement at the Quorn District Hospital in the Flinders Ranges and loved and appreciated the experience.
I am planning to undertake a PHD in understanding the Palliative care approach and from an Aboriginal male perspective. I am currently working on the Research question. I have a passion to work with people who have a terminal illness and to be involved in the palliative care approach. In 2009 I completed the certificate in the “Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach” (PEPA). As part of the PEPA program I spent a week in the Oncology unit within the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).
I have forty years of experience working within Aboriginal communities and, Aboriginal Health Services, as an Aboriginal educator, Manager and Team leader, and currently as an Associate Lecturer within Flinders University Rural Health SA.
As an Aboriginal person I have faced many challenges over the years, however I believe that I have a positive attitude to make a difference and to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people/students to follow their dreams and become leaders in a chosen field.
I have over the years been challenged to make a difference in our Aboriginal communities, including when working for the Aboriginal Health Council of SA (AHCSA) as an Aboriginal educator, delivering health programs in Northern Queensland,(Cairns and Rockhampton) Northern Territory (Alice Springs, Katherine Nhulunbuy and Darwin) and the eight (8) Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) throughout South Australia. The aims and objectives was to teach Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners to better manage their clients who had a chronic disease condition.
While working in the Flinders’ Medical Centre (FMC 2016-November 2017) as the Aboriginal Team Leader for the Aboriginal liaison team, I had a particular interest in the cardio-thoracic ward and worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients from the Northern Territory (NT) that had been diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) and required mitral or mechanical valve replacement. My main role was to explain the difference in these replacement valves to the client and with an interpreter in attendance if English was not their main language. The biggest problem with follow up for the NT clients is that on their return home it is the distance where they live and often the closest remote health service is in excess of 300kms.
Currently, in my role as an Associate Lecturer I have been involved with my team to change the curriculum to improve what is being delivered to the year 111 Medical students who want to know more about the chronic conditions within an Aboriginal community and how best to manage those conditions, and keeping in mind cultural safety.
In the last few days I have been invited by Jonathan Craig to be part of the ‘Rural and Remote Executive Committee’ and look forward to working closely with the committee in improving outcomes.
I am a keen follower of the AFL and the local River Murray Football League (RMFL). In 2012 I became a life member of the Imperial Football club (Murray Bridge) and have been a goal umpire for the past 35 years for the RMFL. I am a very keen tennis player and still quite active in this sport. I gained recognition by the RMFL for my contribution to community football in 2007.
Education has had a huge impact on my life, and on the way I think and work and will continue to study, and to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to gain the same and equitable and accessibility to be successful in their chosen fields.
In 2007, I had been honoured by being named the Aboriginal male elder of the year for my involvement in improving health outcomes within my local Aboriginal community (NAIDOC awards, Murray Bridge and District).
I am committed to improving the quality of lifestyle and closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to that of non-Aboriginal Australians.
I have no intentions of ‘retiring’ and while I have the energy I want to continue my work helping and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve their goals and aspirations to make Australia a better place for all.