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How our COO Rob achieves great outcomes for our patients, staff and stakeholders

As Chief Operating Officer, Rob is responsible for managing efficient and effective operations for KAMS. This means he oversees many different areas in the organisation, including HR, Kimberly Renal Services (KRS), remote clinics, corporate services, IT, and mental health. For Rob, his role is to support all these teams so they can work as effectively as possible.

Having worked in Indigenous affairs for more than 25 years, Rob has an interesting and varied career background. After representing Indigenous issues in roles in government, universities and the oil and gas sector, he joined KAMS in 2015.

“I have the opportunity to use my skills and experience to make a difference in the lives of Aboriginal people in the Kimberley. The healthcare industry is a rewarding place to work. KAMS offers face-to-face services for clients and can really support them at an individual level. KAMS is also responsible for advocating and improving Aboriginal health outcomes across the region as a whole. It’s great to have that balance and see the positive impact, on a patient-centred, personal level, and at a leadership and advocacy level.

He first joined KAMS as Deputy CEO. After four years in this role, he moved into the role as COO, in a restructure that allowed him to focus on day-to-day operations, while KAMS’ CEO Vicki could take a more strategic outlook for the organisation. This balanced and focused the workload at the leadership level, allowing the leadership team to continue to position KAMS externally more strategically, and partner with other organisations and government agencies, while still maintaining a strong focus on internal operations.

“Previously, I was involved in strategic projects. So it’s exciting for me to get involved and work on an operational level. We have an incredible executive leadership team and dedicated staff throughout the whole of the organisation. We have approximately 280 employees within KAMS, across the Kimberley.

“Our people work really hard and are committed to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal people. It’s great to work with likeminded, dedicated people. It’s also satisfying to see the work KAMS does supports people and the community in a direct way. It’s immediate, and that’s rewarding.”

KAMS has a strong Aboriginal leadership board, comprised of people across the Kimberley.

“With our head office in Broome, five remote clinics, four renal healthcare centres, we have a wide footprint. We auspice Headspace youth mental healthcare clinic in Broome, are involved in forums and champion other initiatives and research.”

Interestingly, there are seven Aboriginal community-controlled health services who are member organisations of KAMS.

Check out our article about Kimberly Renal Services (KRS).

“We support these member organisation to be strong and effective within their region. We’re one big network! And it’s wide, with more than 500 employees across all organisations. It’s really an exciting area to work in.”

KAMS’ broad reach means employees have a diverse range of opportunities to move into different areas in the organisation. In fact, Rob has recently had the opportunity to get involved in KAMS’ Aboriginal suicide prevention trial.

“I had the opportunity to get involved, even though I had to build my knowledge in that area. It’s a complex issue, but it’s one our organisation should be providing leadership on. The healthcare sector is really looking at the way we deliver mental healthcare services. We’re broadening our scope of wellbeing to include social and emotional wellbeing, not just physical. This helps us support people the best way possible, throughout their entire life journey, not just in their physical health.”

Working for KAMS, people also have the opportunity to work with skilled and experienced peers.

“KAMS has a strong reputation, which means we can attract really skilled and experienced team members. This creates an environment where you can learn a lot from colleagues, and the opportunity to grow and develop in your role.”

Looking to the future, Rob is excited about the number of expansion opportunities for KAMS, including:

  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – “We’re venturing into the NDIS space, ensuring Aboriginal people in the Kimberley receive adequate access. Traditionally, this has been something communities in the region have missed out on.”
  • A new model of care – “We’re also working on a new, evidence-based model of care for Aboriginal community-controlled health services in the Kimberley, so we can work together in a more unified way and meet the needs of communities. We’re also expanding our service delivery across clinics to a more integrated model, including social and emotional wellbeing.”
  • Strategic work – “We’re doing more strategic work, including through the Close the Gap refresh, and are looking at ways we can ensure the region will benefit from the new targets and a clean implementation framework.”
  • The Kimberley Aboriginal Health Research Alliance – “We established this alliance to work with research institutes to drive the development of Aboriginal health research in the Kimberley. We ensure this research has a direct benefit to communities through the delivery of health services.”

“These are some of the interesting exciting projects coming up that we’ve only just started. There’s always new and exciting work to be done.”

Outside of work, Rob enjoys gardening and loves the outdoors, going fishing, camping and visiting the beach.

“Living in the tropics, everything is green and lush, so I’m a big gardener. Broome has an amazing landscape, with great beaches and waterfalls. So, if you love the outdoor lifestyle, the Kimberley is a great place to be.”

 

Meet our Corporate Services Executive Manager: Carli

At KAMS, we’re grateful to our dedicated administration and support staff working behind the scenes and performing essential operations that allow us to continue delivering excellent services. Our Corporate Services Executive Manager Carli shares information about her role and the projects she’s been a part of in KAMS.

As the Corporate Services Executive Manager, Carli is responsible for overseeing all KAMS clinics, offices and corporate services team members, as well as medical supplies and other goods to remote clinics. She spends the majority of her time working with her team, meeting the executive leadership team, and completing administrative work.

While Carli works mostly in Broome, the corporate services team travels frequently to complete site inspections, conduct audits and provide education and training in KAMS’ remote and renal clinics.

Interestingly, Carli visited Broome for a holiday when she was 22. Her family lived in Broome, and one of them asked if she’d be interested in working part-time for the hospital.

“I worked in the School of Health Studies for KAMS for a few months, before moving on to another position. I kept in touch with the CEO who invited me to return to KAMS in 2003 to work in the Rural Clinic School in partnership with UWA, looking after health worker students, their travel and accommodation, administration for the school and rostering. I loved that job!”

From 2003 to 2012, Carli’s role expanded considerably to cover three training programs in total, including the GP training program. Any GP being trained in the Kimberley, both for KAMS and other Aboriginal Medical Services, was looked after by Carli.

“I loved seeing the real impact we could have in the community. From recruitment to training, we were putting extra doctors onto the clinic roster across the Kimberley.”

After many years working for KAMS and with a foundation of knowledge in administration, Carli made the move into corporate services as Executive Manager.

“Higher-level management was the next step in my career, so the move felt comfortable and natural. I liked being able to manage a small team, instead of doing purely operational work.”

For people interested in working in the corporate services space, Carli believes positions are ideally suited to people who are flexible and adaptable, with a positive attitude and strong administration and organisational skills.

If you or someone you know are interested in working for KAMS, check out our current opportunities.

The corporate services team is comprised of a variety of roles, from asset and property managers, to contracts managers, quality coordinators and infection prevention and control.

“We have a really effective team and I love working with them. Everyone has their own specific roles and are responsible for their own set of tasks, but we’re very cooperative. We all share a common goal of improving our services across the region.”

The culture and family environment at KAMS is something that Carli loves and appreciates.

“Everyone is genuinely very caring about each other. The organisation has a good attitude to work-life balance and looks after people as a whole. Everyone is very accepting and inclusive. At KAMS, people have a genuine desire and actively strive towards making a difference in Aboriginal health. I think that’s a commendable value we share.”

In thinking about her favourite experience with KAMS, Carli enjoyed working on a project to provide new buildings for staff accommodation in the remote community, Balgo

“It’s a thousand kilometres from Broome! I flew there to meet with the community, share the idea and get support. I was involved in negotiations around the land and site and working with the team and builders. It was extremely satisfying to see the completed project. People were living in basic, portable buildings, and we enabled them to move into beautiful self-contained units. I remember feeling very lucky to be involved from start to finish. The staff were so happy to have the extra space, it made their lives so much easier.”

Carli also enjoys the KAMS social club. Every year, the club has a race day tent for the Kimberley Cup in Broome.

“Everyone wants to be there, and it’s so much fun! I love seeing people from work all glammed up. It’s a great day out.”

Carli is looking forward to developing more infrastructure for KAMS as the organisation continues to increase service delivery, particularly in remote centres.

“It’s exciting being part of developing new facilities, clinics and accommodation for staff and patients. It can take a long time and can be pretty tough for a few years, but the end is so rewarding.”

Outside of work, Carli enjoys fishing, camping, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

If you or someone you know are interested in working for KAMS, check out our current opportunities.