Working in remote communities: Meet Jenny, Executive Manager, Remote Services

At KAMS, we’re proud of our talented leadership team and wanted to shine a spotlight on their work and accomplishments. Here is part two of our KAMS Leadership Series. Meet Jenny, our Broome-based Executive Manager, Remote Services, who shares her love of working in remote communities.  

Jenny, our Executive Manager, Remote Services, is a Kimberley woman from Halls Creek with a long and interesting career history. From roles in remote community engagement and executive leadership, she shares our organisation’s value of striving for excellence. Living and working in Perth, the eastern states and central Australia for more than fourteen years, Jenny returned to the Kimberley in 2019 to work with KAMS leading the remote services team.

“In taking this position with KAMS in May last year, I knew I’d be working in remote communities and that was the real attraction for me.”

What sparked her passion for working in remote communities? Interestingly, it was her family connections and a previous community engagement role in Alice Springs. “It’s the people in remote communities that are the real highlight,” Jenny said.

“The staff working in our remote clinics are dedicated and highly-skilled clinicians who provide primary healthcare and emergency after-hours services in remote communities. They are great people doing great work to make positive changes to the health and wellbeing of families living remotely. The services we deliver ensure that our patients have access to quality primary healthcare. We work very closely with our communities and seek their input into the way we deliver our services and programs and that’s exciting stuff!”

In her role, Jenny is responsible for managing and overseeing primary healthcare services in KAMS’ remote clinics and working with her direct reports in those areas.

“We have clinics in five different remote Aboriginal communities. From Beagle Bay to Bidyadanga and out to Balgo, Billiluna and Mulan communities. These are great communities with really strong governance processes and the Clinic is an important part of service delivery in each community.”

Jenny shared how the Balgo clinic is a 12-hour drive from Broome, so KAMS has a weekly charter plane to take staff in and out of the community!

The Kimberley region is culturally and geographically unique so “KAMS has a great induction process which prepares our staff to work remotely. Our Aboriginal staff working in remote clinics are local people and they’re a great source of information and advice. They’re employed in a wide variety of specialist and generalist roles and they deliver programs and services which are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the local community.”

“I’ve always been familiar with KAMS’ work. The organisation has the ability to impact positive change into the lives of Aboriginal people in the Kimberley. It’s an important organisation and I love working with the Board and the Executive management team, who are all extremely dedicated and capable individuals, working hard for the same goal.”

KAMS is a member-based, regional Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) which supports and represents the interests of and provides a collective voice for a network of member ACCHS from towns and remote communities across the Kimberley region.

“Our services in our clinics are outstanding and unique because of our Model of Care and the way we deliver services within our communities in the Kimberley. The Model is specific to the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector and is based on the strengths of our communities.”

Jenny and the Executive management team have been successfully navigating the organisation’s response through the global pandemic.

“KAMS really demonstrated the best capabilities through unprecedented times coming through COVID-19. We’ve had over 110 days with no active cases in the Kimberley and that’s given us the opportunity to continue to plan and prepare.  I’m hoping we’ll see the end of COVID-19 without any active cases in our remote communities.”

In answering the question about what she most likes about working at KAMS, Jenny said, “everyone at KAMS is really committed to positively changing the health status of Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley. From the skilled clinicians in our remote clinics, to the administrative support in Broome, to the Executive management team and the Board of Directors.  I feel really privileged to work here.”

Outside of work, Jenny loves catching up with family, fishing, camping and watching the footy.