The South West region of Western Australia has played host to significant meetings of Nyoongar People and their cultural events, for thousands of years. The South West region has always been of high cultural significance for local Nyoongar People who regard the area as an important food resource.

The South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) recognises everyone’s right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights). They are a Nyoongar Community Controlled Health Organisation, founded on the principles of self-determination, empowerment and freedom of choice with the aim of advancing the overall health status of Aboriginal people.

To raise the standard of health for Nyoongar People, SWAMS pursue the delivery of best-practice and culturally appropriate holistic health services to the Indigenous population of the South West region of Western Australia.

Primary Health Care & Community Health Programs are conducted by Health Workers which include:

  • Women’s and men’s health
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Heart health
  • Child and maternal health
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Mental health

Due to frequent driving over large distances to provide these important programs, SWAMS Logistics Manager Peter Hill approached RAC DTEC to support his staff members with defensive driver training.

During five one day courses RAC DTEC provided defensive driver training incorporating both bitumen and gravel roads to forty seven SWAMS staff, including the CEO Lesley Nelson.

This course consisted of road law, hazard management, vehicle dynamics, driving theory and fatigue management with interactive group exercises to stimulate discussion about some of the issues drivers constantly encounter on our roads.

The SWAMS team was appreciative of the chance to do the training and many of the health professionals made the comment that this was the first driver training they had attended since gaining a driver’s licence.  There were many comments about the braking exercises; most people had never had to use the brakes to stop so quickly and for some there were nervous moments before their turn to practice this little used, but vital skill.

The South West Manager for RAC DTEC Keith Harraway said “this group of people in particular were a pleasure to work with. They all came with a good attitude and a real willingness to improve as a driver.”