With such easy access to a great healthcare system in Australia’s big cities, it’s easy to be unaware of the very real problems faced by the Indigenous people living in remote communities.
Chronic kidney disease is a particular concern. Rates of end-stage kidney disease in Indigenous people from remote and very remote communities are up to 20 times higher than comparable non-indigenous peoples.
Treatment required is expensive, ongoing and can often mean people have to move far away from their remote communities in order to access it.
The resulting dislocation, loss of cultural engagement and connection to family and country is an incalculable loss for these individuals and their communities.
But there are ways we can help...
Not long ago, Vivien Johnson approached me with an idea to raise much needed funds for a dialysis nurse for a new unit to be run by the Purple House at Papunya, NT.
In 2004 Purple House, also known as ‘Western Desert Dialysis’, opened the first remote renal dialysis clinic in Central Australia and the organisation has been returning people home for dialysis on country ever since.
Due to an unexpected injection of Commonwealth funds late last year, the NT Government has built a brand new dialysis unit in Papunya and nurses accommodation. Located alongside the Papunya Tjupi Art Centre, the unit will be ready for use in October this year. The NT Health Department has asked Purple House to run these services and get people back home.
With no budget allocated to pay for a nurse and other running costs until their 2017/18 funding kicks in, Purple House is seeking help. At least $50,000 must be raised to open the facility in Papunya.
Vivien’s idea was to see if I could selectively put together a collection of paintings for sale as part of my Quarterly Online Listings in November, with 100% of the proceeds going to this much needed cause.
Since announcing this idea in July, the response has been incredible.
As well as receiving some excellent donated artworks, including from the Papunya Tjupi community, I've also had many generous offers of support and direct donations to Purple House to get this unit up and running.
And what started as a simple idea just became a lot bigger - with Scott Livesey now on board offering a one-night exhibition of the donated artworks at his gallery in Armadale on Friday 10 November 2017.
We're calling it 50K: The Purple House Project.
And here’s how you can help…
If you have any quality artworks that are surplus to your collection - these works may be in storage or perhaps no longer in keeping with your collecting direction, I’d be grateful if you would consider donating them.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss (and remember Purple House is a registered charity so all donations generated from sold works will be tax deductible).
You can make a direct donation to Purple House here: https://www.westerndesertdialysis.com/contacts/donations
Here we have an opportunity to make a small contribution that will have an immense impact. Keeping communities together, people on country and leaders with their people.
I know that together, we can get this dialysis unit funded.
P.S. If you'd like to support Purple House, please join us for the one-night event at Scott Livesey Galleries on Friday 10 November, 6-8pm!