Sharing stories from the heart
The Care in Our Community Forum is a special celebration of the work that happens on the front line the community.
Sydney Local Health District provides a comprehensive suite of community-based services to Sydney’s Inner West, including Sydney District Nursing, Child and Family Health, Sexual Health and HIV, Youth Health, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Drug Health and Oral Health. Clinical services are complemented by population Health and health promotion programs.
More than 300 dedicated staff work as part of our Community Health team. They are nurses, allied health professionals, medical and support staff.
The Forum, held at the Hyatt Regency, Sydney kicked off with a bit of fun. Scottish Diva Mary Kiani – complete with crutches decorated with lights – led attendees in a loud sing-a-long.
The day was facilitated by Glenn Daniel, smoothFM’s Breakfast presenter.
“It’s one thing to fill our heads with information when we come to a conference like today,” he said.
“It’s far better when we hear stories form the heart, when you share stories from the heart, and those two working together makes us very capable in the community.”
In the first keynote presentation, Clinical Psychologist Sophia Parnas from Concord Centre for Mental Health explored what evolutionary biology and neuroscience tells us about the human-to-human encounter.
“People are hardwired to connect to other human beings,” she said.
“We may survive without close connection to others but we won’t thrive.”
She was followed by Associate Professor Elisabeth Murphy, Senior Clinical Advisor, Child and Family Health from the NSW Ministry of Health, who spoke about the First 2000 Days Framework.
This strategy focuses on the importance of the first 2000 days in a child's life (from conception to age 5) and what action people within the health system need to take to ensure that all children have the best possible start in life.
“Evidence shows that significant number of stressful events in utero have a big impact on children so that's why when we talk about the first 2000 days we need to start at pre-conception,” she said.
In the breakout sessions, psychologist Luke Ross explained how to create an adaptive mindset for resiliency. Dozens of people joined Yoga teacher Amy Giuliano for a session of “chair yoga” and guided meditation with sound with Karina Pupo.
In Tales from the Frontline, a special group of District staff who work in the community shared their experiences and advice.
Speakers included Aboriginal Outreach Worker Athena Mumbulla, Child and Family Health Nurse Janelle Wright, HIV Nurse Practitioner Kurt Andersson, Youth Drug Health Services Nurse Practitioner Andrea Stone, Mental Health Peer Support Worker Jemima Isbester and Aged Care physiotherapist Helen Hislop.