ONE of Australia’s most prominent public figures of the modern era was in Mareeba last week as television presenter, comedian, actor and teacher Ernie Dingo visited the region as part of the
Bush TV’s Camping on Country program.
The focus of Camping on Country is culture and health, and it sees the team behind the program visit a remote community each month to run camps which provide a space for local leaders to discuss what health issues they face in their community, what programs are working or not working and to work with the men and articulate their ideas for a targeted health program.
As part of Ernie Dingo’s visit, he and the Camping on Country team visited Mulungu Health Services Clinic, where he spoke on the importance of ensuring men’s health and wellbeing in the nation’s Indigenous communities.
“As you know there are a lot of men who are our storytellers, our libraries, our song men, and our keepers of knowledge,” Mr Dingo said.
“And unfortunately we don’t see a lot of them engaged in community activities, and that is mainly due to the fact that Aboriginal men are stubborn.
“Too often we like to push our problems to the background, so this camp is about strengthening their mind, body and overall health so they can become engaged\ with other men along with their families.
“We want to see Aboriginal men engaged as fathers and grandfathers so they can play those key roles within the community.”
Mr Dingo also alluded to the camp acting as a tool for men to receive reassurance that there are a number of other men experiencing similar situations.
“We have medical checks when we’re out there, we engage in a variety of activities, and we provide the men the chance to speak freely and openly about their health,” he said.
Mulungu Health Services took time to thank those who contributed to what was an extremely successful event.
“We would like to thank the staff who helped set up to make this occasion so great – thank you for all of your hard work,” a spokesperson said.
“We hope you enjoyed the visit from the Bush TV’s Camping on Country team headed by the awesome and ever-smiling Ernie Dingo.”
For more information on the Camping on Country program, visit www.campingoncountry.com.au