There are three key Aboriginal groups of the Katherine area. These are the Dagoman, Jawoyn and Wardaman people
These groups lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle and intermarried with other clans in line with cultural laws. Katherine was an important meeting place for all the Aboriginal people in the region for thousands of years and still today, evidence of this can be seen on all the traditional rock art at Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge).
Today, the Aboriginal people in the Katherine region live in communities located in and around the town of Katherine. The largest of these are Myalli Brumby (also known as Kalano), which is along the north side of the Katherine River. Rockhole which is 15 kilometres from the town of Katherine and Binjari, located 18 kilometres to the south-west of Katherine. We also service the smaller communities of Jodetluk (also known as Gorge camp) located closer to Nitmiluk National Park and Geyulkgan Ngurro (also known as Walpiri camp) located close to the CBD of Katherine.
Many Aboriginal people also live in the township of Katherine.
We deliver health care services to approximately 5000 current clients that are mostly Aboriginal residents of Katherine area communities and deliver almost 36,000 episodes of care annually. An additional 2000 Aboriginal people who live in over 25 remote Katherine-region communities—representing more than 15 Indigenous language groups—are counted as transient clients and have been seen in the past 2 years.
Who can access Wurli Services?
Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service’s aim is to relieve poverty, sickness, destitution, distress, suffering, misfortune and helplessness of the Aboriginal people of the Katherine Region, particularly in Member Communities.
In line with this aim and due to limited resources, no new clients will be accepted at Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service unless they meet the Client Eligibility Criteria.
You are an eligible client of Wurli if:
You meet any ONE of the following criteria:
- You are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent;
- You are the legal guardian of an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child including women who are pregnant with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child;
- You are currently employed by Wurli; OR
You are the child or current spouse/partner of an existing client.
You permanently live in Katherine or within a 40 kilometre radius of Katherine.
What does this mean for existing clients that do not meet the eligibility criteria?
If you do not meet the client eligibility criteria explained above but HAVE visited Wurli in the last 24 months, you can continue to access Wurli’s Services as normal. However, if you do not visit for 24 months, Wurli reserves the right to refuse you service again.
Proof of Aboriginality
Wurli reserves the right to request proof of Aboriginality of individuals before granting access to Wurli services as required. Please enquire at reception if you need assistance with proving your Aboriginality.
This eligibility criteria is effective as at 22nd November 2018.