Muswellbrook maternity ward receives painting by Aboriginal artist following NAIDOC Week 2017 competition

ARTISTIC: Aboriginal health worker Charli Thomas and AMIHS midwife Mandy Hendy with the winning door and gifted artwork by Lesley Salem.

ARTISTIC: Aboriginal health worker Charli Thomas and AMIHS midwife Mandy Hendy with the winning door and gifted artwork by Lesley Salem.

MUSWELLBROOK maternity ward is looking a little brighter thanks to the creativity of staff members.

The ward participated in Hunter New England Health’s 2017 NAIDOC door decorating competition, with great success.

Aboriginal health coordinator Susan Newlick said there were about eight or nine entries this year.

“We celebrate NAIDOC [Week] by hosting a NAIDOC door decorating competition,” she said.

“We invite all the services across the hunter valley to decorate a door or a window.

“This is Muswellbrook AMIHS’ (Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service) submission for this year.

“What we do then, as a committee, is we all get together and we choose which one is the winning one for that year.

“It’s a good way of bringing around the recognition of NAIDOC.

“NAIDOC has a different theme every year, so it's recognising the theme for that year, but also encouraging people to learn more about Aboriginal culture.

“And, at the same time, we also build up the aboriginal artwork within our facilities.”

The Muswellbrook maternity door was chosen as the top entry in the Hunter Valley sector.

Because of their top spot, the team received a painting – Hiding – by Wanaruah artist Lesley Salem.

Maternity unit manager Janelle Alexander said the ward had received good feedback from visiting Aboriginal women.

“They like the door because the words are written in the Wanaruah language,” she said.

“The door decorating competition is an initiative of the Aboriginal Health Unit and people look forward to it every year

“It’s been well accepted by everyone.”

In previous years, other Muswellbrook hospital units have participated in the competition.