Archive For: Leadership

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.”


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.