'It allows us to have a holistic approach': OAMS seeks funds for wellbeing centre

HOLISTIC APPROACH: Orange Aboriginal Medical Service health worker Damon Bell, practice manager Amanda Kelly, health worker Tynaiya McLean and business manager Micheal Halls at the wellbeing centre site. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
HOLISTIC APPROACH: Orange Aboriginal Medical Service health worker Damon Bell, practice manager Amanda Kelly, health worker Tynaiya McLean and business manager Micheal Halls at the wellbeing centre site. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

THE Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) is charging ahead to expand its offerings, all it needs now is a little more funding.

OAMS has received development approval from Orange City Council for an $780,000 wellbeing centre at Cameron Place.

It will be located next to its existing $4 million premises at Perc Griffith Way, which was completed in 2014.

Chief executive officer Jamie Newman said the centre would incorporate nutritional and exercise services for those recovering from an operation or illness, mothers before and after pregnancy and those with mental illnesses.

He said the idea had come from clients’ requests.

This is for people who might not have the money to hand over for a gym membership.

Jamie Newman

“This is for people who might not have the money to hand over for a gym membership,” he said.

“It allows us to have a holistic approach.”

Mr Newman said the centre would include consultation rooms and an outdoor area, with clients able to access personal trainers and GPs.

But he said the development depended on government funding.

“Under the Better Regions Fund, we have to contribute 50 per cent of the cost and as a board, we’ve committed to supporting 50 per cent of the funds,” he said.

“We should know by mid- to late June whether we’ve been successful with the bid, but they want projects that are ready to roll out and one of the criteria was it had to have council approval.”

Mr Newman hoped construction could start in July for a December completion date and said the facility could open career pathways for indigenous people hoping to become personal trainers.

He said a further stage, which would provide extra rooms for existing services and host more registrars, was still in the design phase.

“That’s a $3 million project and we don’t have the $1.5 million at the moment, we want to see if we’re successful with [the other stage] given we’ve met all the requirements,” he said.

“It would allow us to broaden into allied health.”

OAMS has provided medical, primary health, maternal and infant health, drug and alcohol, mental health and dental outreach services to indigenous and non-indigenous communities as far as Cowra and Forbes since 2005.

It is focused on closing the health gap.