Hope For Health at the National Rural Health Conference 2017

Hope For Health at the National Rural Health Conference 2017 in Cairns  Written by Hope For Health’s naturopath and case manager Kate Jenkins BHSc (NAT)

Thanks to a number of Hope For Health sponsors (private, Nourishing Australia & MAF Airline), in April this year Guyupul, Bede (Program Communications) and I had the wonderful opportunity to fly to the 14th National Rural Health Conference in Cairns to speak on behalf of Hope For Health. It was a tremendous honour to co-present with Guyupul, to share the Hope for Health movement and to network with relevant organisations.

Cairns was a new experience for all three of us.  The lush tropical paradise very much lived up to its reputation and the relaxed, down to earth nature of the community, provided a very open environment to network with new and familiar organisations.

On the day of our departure to the conference we attempted a flight to Nhulunbuy but despite the MAF pilots impressive efforts, the tropical low near the Tiwi islands was creating weather deemed too dangerous to attempt a landing. Consequently, we arrived in Cairns a day later than we had anticipated. Such are the realities of remote living.

The conference consisted of keynote speakers and concurrent speakers. The timetabling had been cleverly arranged to maximise potential networking by grouping themed speakers together. We spoke under the ‘Food Security and Nutrition’ topic. In the same allotment was organisations such as Food Ladder, The Country Kitchens Program and some informative and thought provoking presentations on the harsh realities of our current food security in Australia and globally.

Guyupul was amazed at all the fruit and vegetable, dreaming of having something like this on Galiwin’ku

The Hope For Health paper submitted is titled “Preventing chronic disease with nutrition and integrative medicine” and the presentation was around Hope For Health’s the delivery and results of this pioneering methodology.
One audience member came up to us at he end of the session and said “I’ve been watching presentations for the last three days and this was my favourite, it gave me a real sense of relief and joy knowing this is happening” I think we all can relate to that, it’s so inspiring to see our participants taking health into their own hands and succeeding.In addition to attending the conference presentations, we were generously invited to a conference dinner. It was the social events like this, the session tea breaks and even the panel discussions that took place which really made our trip a wonderful success. Sharing the story of Hope For Health, the challenges we’ve experienced and learnt from and hearing what is working or about new organisations that could support Hope For Health’s mission. We learnt a lot from our journey, gained a lot of contacts, hugged some familiar faces and are truly grateful to the supporters that made our journey to the National Rural Health Conference possible.

If you’re interested, take a look at the abstract and slides here. 


Flying over East Arnhem Land in our tiny Plane. Thank you to MAF for sponsoring us too!



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