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New faces at BourkeAboriginal Medical Service


New senior staff at the Bourke Aboriginal Corporation Health Service, Acting CEO John Fetuani and Practice Manager Linda McParland. Photo Twh

Tricia Duffield

The Bourke Aboriginal Corporation Health Service has welcomed two new staff members to the team, one returning to familiar territory and the other starting out on a new adventure.

John Fetuani is the new Acting CEO of BACHS and is returning to a town where he has already forged strong family and social connections.

Manager of Business Practice and Quality Linda McParland is enjoying her first taste of life in Bourke but is following a long-held dream to live in the Outback.

Together, John and Linda will add their skills to the management of BACHS and said they hoped to build on its strengths as an important community health organisation.

As Acting CEO John brings a passion for leadership and a strong commitment to patient outcomes.

John has worked in the health care industry for ten years in senior management with a focus on mental health and said he was excited about the challenge of his new role and the opportunity to develop experience in an executive role.

“I got into the health field through mental health, as a clinician initially in child and youth mental health and acute inpatient care and then moved up into management roles and then to senior management where I could lead services,” he said.

“I have a Bachelor of Health Science and mental health qualifications, a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion and a master’s in healthcare leadership.

“Most recently I worked in the Western Sydney Local Health District, and we had a big project building a dedicated Aboriginal mental health service, which was a benchmark service, and which hadn’t happened in the state before.

“We won quality awards locally and across the state for developing that service.

“In my role as Acting CEO at BACHS, I hope to achieve permanency in the role by showing the board I can make a difference.

“I want to bring consistent leadership and instil trust in my capabilities, that I can do the role and develop the BACHS service, which has so much potential.

“Of course, there will be challenges but my goal is getting better outcomes for the Bourke community,” he said.

John’s family hails from Far North Queensland before they moved to Western Sydney when John was a ten-year-old. His wife Varna is from Bourke and is a member of the Bates family. John and Varna have returned regularly for family gatherings and to attend the Bourke Easter festival each year. They have five children, so John said he was keen to be part of Bourke’s active sporting community.

“In Sydney we were heavily involved in rugby league and other sports so I am more than happy to volunteer for any sporting clubs here,” John said. […]

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