There’s Remote and then there’s Really Remote.
When it’s Really Remote there are usually no doctors and if you are lucky there is a nurse like Jaine Morris.
She was working in Lockhart River and Lockhart River is pretty close to the end of the line.
It’s the last community on the east coast of Australia on the way to PNG.
Get your Google Maps Going!
This place is amazing. Iron Range National Park, Quintell beach, crocodiles, Portland Roads and Chilli Beach. This is the sort of area that holds pride of place on an outback adventurers “Bucket List”.
It is hard for me to articulate just how much respect I have for nurses that do that sort of thing. It is a level of immersion unlike any I have personally known.
So how do you deal with that?
We dive into how Jaine does it. (Which does NOT include diving into the water very often.) She is at the pointy end of an amazing system. She takes the calls, drives the ambulance, does the xrays, draws the bloods, sets the fractures, sews up the holes, washes out the wounds, blocks the nerves…. I could go on.
I love Lockhart River. It’s a community that is rising from a horrible history of some of the ugliest white interventions in black Australia. (J’accuse Joh Bjelke–Peterson! And the High Court of Australia agrees)
But Lockhart River is rising and fast. Despite being one of the most disadvantaged communities on the continent the stories that come from these days are about art and triumph and less about problems or violence.
There is much to do and fortunately some good people are doing it.
Doug Lynch (with a sprinkling of Matt Mac Partlin)