COOMEALLA Health Aboriginal Corporation (CHAC) has appointed Summer Hunt as its new chief executive officer.

Ms Hunt will transition to the role after three years working as deputy CEO to Barry Stewart.

Mr Stewart and Ms Hunt were appointed in 2015 in the roles of CEO and deputy CEO respectively, and at that time implemented a three-year plan for Mr Stewart to oversee a set of key changes required to stabilise and improve the organisation. Ms Hunt undertook an intensive on-the-job training program before moving into the CEO role.

Incoming Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation CEO Summer Hunt, chairperson Jan Etrich and outgoing CEO Barry Stewart.

TenPin Bowling 


Ferdinand - Deakin Cinema

Dareton Pool 

Woodsies Gem Shop 

Welcome to 2018!! 

CHAC is now officially an Accredited Community Organisation. 


Christmas Break Reminder for our wonderful community. 

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

It is Cancer month on our Health promotion calendar, our fabulous ladies from the Mum's and Bub's and Women's Groups are hosting a big morning Tea. please come along and support this event for a good cause. 

R U OK? DAY!! 2017






The team based at CHAC will service the entire Wentworth and Balranald Shires, with Health promotion and prevention intervention in the communities. 


The main Aim of this project is to:

  • Increase community awareness of suicide risk

  • Reduce the stigma and shame in talking about suicide.

  • Improve the capacity of the community to tackle suicide where some one is at risk.

  • Improve access to Mental Health Services. 

Naidoc Ball 2017

Naidoc 2017

Coomealla Health held such an eventful week for

Naidoc 2017

We started the week by opening with the Flag Raising ceremony and morning tea. 

Our Team was very Hands-on with the Youth Movie day. 

Joining with all Dareton Organisations, and catering for the Community Day held at Dareton Primary School 






27 JANUARY 2016




CHAC staff joined together last week to participate in lateral violence training, agreeing that the organisation would become a lateral violence free zone.


The training was delivered by Spirit Dreaming Facilitator, Mel Brown.  Ms Brown, a Ngunnawal woman who now resides in the northern rivers Bundjalung Nation, has a Masters Degree in Indigenous Healing and Trauma and has spent considerable time working in the areas of counselling, mentoring and arts based healing therapies.


“Lateral violence is where a person uses destructive behaviours to diminish, manipulate, dominate or control another person.   It occurs when oppressed groups or individuals internalise their feelings such as fear and rage and manifest their feelings through behaviours such as gossip, jealously put downs and blame


“Lateral violence draws power from being nameless and invisible. The first step to tackling lateral violence is naming it and exposing the ways it impacts in our workplaces and communities” Ms Brown said.

The training event was arranged by CHAC Deputy CEO Summer Hunt.  Ms Hunt says that eliminating lateral violence within community organisations like CHAC is the first step to eliminating it in the broader community:


“When you think about what our people have been through over the past 200 years, it’s not surprising that lateral violence exists in our communities and our workplaces


“The first step is naming and shaming lateral violence in our workplace.  When we understand what it is and that it comes from people’s own stress, we can understand one another better and stop it escalating


“We’re doing things like putting up signage about lateral violence, changing our policies and procedures so they have specific policies, and including tackling lateral violence in our strategic plan


“We want to see a future where the Aboriginal community work together as one and eliminating lateral violence is such a huge part of that journey” she said.





Media Contact: Stephen Parr 0433 429 274



IMAGE: Mel Brown speaks to CHAC staff about her experiences with lateral violence








Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation (CHAC) has highlighted a concerning trend in younger community members being diagnosed with pre-diabetes and Type II diabetes.

CHAC Clinical Practice Manager, Jade Griffiths, who is also a Diabetes Educator says that the trend shows that more work is needed in tackling choices about food and lifestyle in the Aboriginal community:

“We’ve seen some younger people getting screened and showing early onset type II Diabetes.  There are a number of factors that impact on the ability of people to make healthy choices, including social and economic factors and health services are just a part of the solution

“We’re looking at new ways to engage the community to learn to eat healthy on a budget and to find ways to make healthy food more interesting too – the onus is on us to better target our messages to a younger audience” Ms Griffiths said.

One way CHAC is doing this is through delivering health messages in different and more interesting ways that stretch beyond the clinic.  CHAC recently welcomed the organisation’s new Accredited Practising Dietitian Wendy Arney who has over 20 years experience in Dietetics, and several years working with Aboriginal communities.  Ms Arney brings a raft of experience in working with children and young people on this important issue:

“I’m looking forward to dishing up a few new and interesting ways to get the message through such as community gardening, cook and yarn and come and try sessions

“We want to get young people involved in growing food through a new community garden, learning how to cook healthily and trying foods they may not have tried before.  In the coming months there will be a lot of exciting new activities happening at CHAC that the families and kids can get involved in” she said.

The community are encouraged to visit the CHAC website ( or facebook page for updates about programs and services.  Appointments can be made with the Dietitian and the Diabetes Educator by calling CHAC on (03) 5027 4824.




Media Contact: Jade Griffiths 0417 838 802



IMAGE: Jade Griffths (Left) and Wendy Arney (Right) inspecting the area that will become CHACs new community garden later this year








Management of Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation today welcomed the organisation’s new GP Dr Nadarajah Rajeshkannan (Dr Kannan) on his first visit to the service. 


Dr Kannan will be working full time at CHAC from February 2016, delivering a full primary care service, with a focus on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people.  Dr Kannan is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitoners and is currently undertaking is Master of Family Medicine with Monash University.


“Aboriginal health is very important to me and I am looking forward to doing my part to close the gap” he said.


Jade Griffiths, Clinical Practice Manager says Dr Kannan’s decision to join the CHAC team is like a Christmas gift:


“GP Recruitment in rural and remote areas like ours is not always easy so we are thrilled to be able to share this news with the Community and we look forward to having Dr Kannan on the team


“It’s really important for us as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation to be able to provide culturally appropriate services, so having a male and female GP ensures that community members have that choice” she said.


CHAC Deputy CEO Summer Hunt said that recruiting additional services like those of Dr Kannan was critical to the future of towns like Dareton:


“Access to services is important not only for the wellbeing of our Aboriginal community, but for the sustainability of towns like Dareton and Wentworth so we are really pleased to be a part of the future by bringing new health professionals and services to town” she said.


Appointments can be made by calling CHAC on (03) 5027 4824 or visiting the CHAC website


IMAGE: (L to R) Jade Griffiths, Dr Kannan and Summer Hunt in Dareton Yesterday







Staff and friends of Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation (CHAC) gathered today to welcome a number of new staff to the organisation and celebrate the final appointment of the organisation’s new management team.   Summer Hunt has been appointed as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Jade Griffiths appointed as Clinical Practice Manager for the organisation.

CHAC CEO Barry Stewart says the appointment of the new management team symbolises a new direction and vision for CHAC:

“We’re excited to have to two very capable and strong Aboriginal women now leading up our team.  We have had a number of new staff join the organisation, nearly 80 new community members  joined as well as a new board of directors appointed so we are excited about the future” he said.

Ms Hunt is a local Barkindji woman who is qualified in Frontline Management, Indigenous Primary Health Care and is a qualified Family Therapist.  Summer was honoured when she was nominated to sit on the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council  (AH&MRC) executive committee, and last week travelled to Sydney to accept her nomination, this is extremely exciting for Summer as she will be representing CHAC at state level and networking with major stakeholders in New South Wales.

“Communities on the NSW side of the river often get overlooked, and our Aboriginal community faces even more challenges in getting the services we need.  We are going to put CHAC front and centre in working with the community to address these challenges” she said.

Mrs Griffiths, a Muthi Muthi Woman, is the only Aboriginal Diabetes Educator in the Sunraysia Region and is also a Registered (Div 1) Nurse who has worked in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations for eight years.  She says that there is a strong sense of purpose and drive among the CHAC team:

“You can see when we come to work here that everyone is passionate about making real change for the community, we’re not going to do it for them but we are going to do it with them

“Engagement of Aboriginal people at all levels of management is critical to getting better outcomes for our community, and I’m proud to be a part of that” she said.

CHAC provide a full comprehensive primary health care service for the communities of Dareton, Wentworth, Buronga and Districts including General Practitioner, allied health and health promotion activities.  CHAC can be contacted for appointments on 03 50274824.




Media Contact: Stephen Parr 0433 429 274



IMAGE: Jade Griffiths (L) and Summer Hunt (R), new managers at CHAC



2015 was a very busy year for the team at CHAC seeing record numbers at our service as well as record numbers attending some of our programs including CHAC NAIDOC, Elders Xmas Party and Men's Programs. To see some photo's click here or head over to our gallery section.



ORIC Apporoves Rule Book


At the 2015 AGM we presented a draft rule book for the members to approve. The changes in the rule book include an expansion of Services to include Housing, Education & Employment.


Click here to download a copy of the rule book or drop into CHAC.


A 3 year term for the Board was also implemented so that the organisation achieves stability and allows more time for strategic planning.



Mental Health Month


October 2015 was Mental Health month and to help us celebrate Sean Choolburra attended Dareton and put on a show.

Thanks to Far West Health for inviting the mob along for a good laugh! (See video's below)