Activating Space for Health Up North



Sarah Brown from Alice Springs, manages an Aboriginal community owned
health service Western Desert Dialysis, working to get people who need
dialysis back home to their remote community.

I was privileged to meet Sarah during my recent Australia trip, and she shared with me their inspiring story:

the past, dialysis patients from remote Aboriginal communities had to
sit in Alice Springs away from their families for treatment.

an auction of paintings in 2000, over $1M was raised and the Purple
House was set up as a go to place in Alice Springs for those needing
dialysis and a place to help them get back home.

The gorgeous
thing about this house is it has heart. Intentionally set up to be run
by the patients and their families as a home away from home. They have a
garden, chooks, activities for kids, a social enterprise selling Bush
Balms and providing catering to raise funds for the services and at the
same time build a sense of purpose and community for those that use the

But the story is much bigger than this. 15 years on and
there are now 22 dialysis machines in 10 locations across remote
Northern Territory and Western Australia.  

The model to have the organisation run by the patients and families themselves is definitely a tribute to it’s success.

Sarah didn’t say this, we suspect that it’s success is also due to the
commitment and vision and contribution of Sarah herself, who admitted
that she hasn’t had a holiday for 15 years!