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Yarning men’s health with community liaison officer Joe

This Men’s Health Week we sat down with our deadly Community Liaison Officer (CLO) Joe to have yarn with him about his role and the importance for our men to take care of their health.

Where are you from and who is your mob?

I’m a proud Wangan and Jagalingu/Kangoulu man from Brisbane. My mob is from Central/Western Queensland region around Clermont, Emerald and surrounding areas. However, most of my family and friends are from Cherbourg.

What is your career background?

I completed trade in cabinet making straight after school and was also mentored by a senior Kuku Thaypan elder named Joe Skeen on making Aboriginal artefacts and traditional painting.

For 13 years after I worked with Indigenous youth and also ran my own company Jagalingu Aboriginal Creations creating and selling handmade Aboriginal artefacts.

I’ve been working at ATSICHS Northgate as a community liaison officer for the past 9 years.

Why did you choose to work in this industry and role?

I’ve always been a community orientated person. I relate closely to grassroots Murri people so this role gives me the opportunity to make change in the lives and health of our people at that level. I live in this community so I am very closely connected with the people here. It makes my job so much more enjoyable.

What does a day in your role typically look like?

My role is to help our Northgate clinic to function as best that it can. That can vary from organising school health checks, walking groups, home visits, helping families out with food parcels, attending community meetings and assisting with transport when required. I also network with other organisations to help meet community health outcomes.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Seeing the positive health outcomes for our community.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Make Aboriginal artefacts and paint, spend time with my family, support the Broncos by attending home games and stay fit and healthy by exercising regularly.

What advice would you give to fullas in our community who might be shame about looking after their health?

Don’t be shame, early detection is the best prevention!

Read more about our other deadly men at ATSICHS here.

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