Video - Hear from Gilly and Dane, mental health workers

Hear from Dane and Gilly, mental health workers from Weipa.


Gilly: Hi, my name is Gilbert Daniel, originally from Thursday Island but I've lived in Weipa for the last ten years.

Dane: I'm Dane Purcel, I'm the senior mental health worker here. My role is primarily with the child and youth mental health service. But as the senior in the Mental Health and AODS Service, I help to support Gilly and our other health worker role as well. And we cover the three communities between the three of us and the three services, adult mental health, child and youth mental health and alcohol and other drugs.

Dane: I think health in any community is very important, it doesn't matter where you are or what culture you belong to. I think obviously, you know, we need to care for not only ourselves but for each other and living here and in Weipa and being so remote the health services here and the access we have to health services now are relatively recent.

Dane: Child and youth mental health services used to fly in, fly out. But now they're based here. The adult mental health service had clinicians that used to fly in, fly out through the week, but now they all live here. So, it's just those very small changes make a big difference to communities.

Dane: But it also allows your clients, like being a small town, to see you on weekends and see you be human. Primarily, we’re advocating for our clients, you know, and we’re acting as that liaison between service and consumer. I think, you know, that feeling we get from helping people, you know, that's probably the most rewarding part of our job. Seeing how we use the service to help them make small adjustments just to better their lives, you know, seeing them further down the track and seeing them happy and not struggling like they did when they first come to us. It's very rewarding for us, very personally rewarding.

Dane: Gilly and I, we have a unique bond where we both started our health work together. You know, back in 2005 and we fell out of touch a little bit because we were living at different ends of the state at the time.

Gilly: But still kept in contact.

Dane: Still kept in contact occasionally and now we are working together in the same team and a lot of other health workers, you know, because we train together, we have that connection to each other and we all have similar roles. It doesn’t matter if you work in mental health or family health or any of the other roles health workers play in our health service. We have that connection through our job, and through our training, and we like to keep connected and support each other as much as possible, any new recruits that come on board, of course we look after them because we can't stay health workers forever, we get old one day and we'd love to help train the next generation as well.

Dane: But yeah, love Weipa, love working with Gilly here. Yes, we have good fun. Keep this going for a while.

Gilly: Yeah, that's it. We’ve still got a couple of years yet.

[End of transcript]

Last updated: December 2022