The current incarnation of Gidgee Healing has evolved over many years. Recognition of the fundamental need for culturally appropriate health care for Indigenous communities in Mount Isa and surrounding areas has been articulated for decades.
The initial endeavours to establish an Aboriginal health service began in the 1970’s, driven by a number of community members who recognised the need for a tailored and specific approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The demands of delivering continuity of service in a remote environment, and fulfilling the needs of the community, while managing the complex frameworks of the political, funding, and health care landscape of the time have been a consistent challenge over many years.
In 2008 the Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service Ltd was formed which today trades as Gidgee Healing. While the name of this entity clearly states the function of the service, it seemed empty of meaning or significance for the communities it was established to serve, and so a name was sought for the service that held cultural relevance for the Indigenous communities of Mount Isa and beyond.
After much dialogue with Community, the name Gidgee Healing emerged. The Gidgee tree is a strong and resilient wood, rich in healing properties. There is much about the Gidgee tree that embodies the values of the health service.
Today, Gidgee Healing represents all that has gone before and everything yet to come. It’s an amalgamation of struggles past and future potential. It brings the experience and lessons learned from the past to inform the hopes and ambitions for the positive health outcomes for Indigenous communities in the future.