Wiradjuri hospital signage wins health award

Filed : Aboriginal Arts, Arts & Health, In Hospitals, Lachlan Health Service Culture & Arts Program, Projects .

A project to integrate Wiradjuri language signage and translations into the new Forbes and Parkes Hospitals has won one of the region’s top health awards.

Next time you visit a new mother in the maternity ward at Parkes or Forbes hospitals, follow the signs to Yinaagalang Nguranggu – Wiradjuri for ‘woman’s place’. If you need pathology, look for Guwany Barramali (to take blood).

A project to integrate Wiradjuri language signage and translations into the new Forbes and Parkes Hospitals has won one of the Western NSW Local Health District’s top awards.

Lachlan Health Service’s Mali Marambir Ngurang: to make better place Lachlan has won the Chief Executive’s Award at the Western NSW Local Health District’s annual Living Well Together Health and Innovation Awards. More than 50 projects were received for the Awards, which is a record number of entries.

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The Lachlan Health Service project team accepted the Chief Executive’s award during a gala dinner in Orange on 31 May 2016. The project also received a Highly Commended in the category Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health Disadvantage.

Key directional signage around the hospitals is written in English beside the Wiradjuri interpretation, which is then translated back into English. Local Wiradjuri Elders worked closely with Dr Stan Grant, co-author of the Wiradjuri dictionary, to ensure the words were correct and close to their English meaning.

Lachlan Health Service also worked closely with Sydney studio BrandCulture to design and implement the signage.

Rosie Johnson and Steven Ferguson

Rosie Johnson and Steven Ferguson

Read the story about this project in the Forbes Advocate

The project aimed to make the hospital spaces more inviting, less daunting for Aboriginal people.

The English translations also helps to educate non-Wiradjuri people about the Wiradjuri language. For example, the Wiradjuri words Marrin Mumali (to rub the body between the hands) points to the physiotherapy department, Mungarr Ngadhurinya (care for kidneys) points to the renal department.

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More than 20 key places in the hospitals have bilingual interpretation. Others include Ngaagigu Mulunma, (to see inside) is used alongside signage for ‘medical imaging’; Ngurang Mindyali (to be fixed fast) are the words for ‘operating theatre’. Waluwin Ngaan (‘healthy mouth’) points the way to ‘oral health’; and Wambuwanbunmaldhaany (medicine maker) points to the pharmacist.

The wayfinding signage has been informed by The Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts Working Group. The Lachlan Health Services Project team engaged regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest to integrate culture and arts into the Forbes and Parkes Hospital redevelopments.

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The NSW Government provided $113.7 million to redevelop the Forbes Hospital and build a new Parkes Hospital. A component of this funding was used to help deliver the Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts program.

Patients moved in to the new Forbes Hospital building in October 2015 and into the new Parkes Hospital in November 2015. The final phase of the Forbes Hospital redevelopment is currently underway, refurbishing spaces for the Oral Health, Renal and Ambulatory Care units.

Local Aboriginal Elder and artist, Robert Clegg designed a Wiradjuri “guga” for the front entrance of the new Parkes Hospital.

Local Aboriginal Elder and artist, Robert Clegg designed a Wiradjuri “guga” for the front entrance of the new Parkes Hospital.

The Culture and Arts Working Group includes representation from the Lachlan Health Service Project team, Arts OutWest, the Lachlan Health Council, health staff and the Aboriginal community and is responsible for implementing a flexible and sustainable program that promotes well-being and creates a welcoming, vibrant place for the Forbes and Parkes communities.

For more information about the Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts program, please contact Arts OutWest.

 

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