Testimonials
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Dr Justine Mayer
Shaun Tatipata
Dr James Stephen

Dr Justine Mayer - Testimonial

- Graduated from St Bartholomew’s Medical College London in 1986

- Undertook GP training in Melbourne

- Came to the Territory in 1994 with her Australian partner, also a doctor, to work with Aboriginal people

“We both thought about working overseas – we wanted to be involved in interesting and challenging medicine, and work in areas of need in cross cultural settings. We had travelled widely in Asia and finally decided it was more important to stay in Australia and work in Aboriginal Health.”

“When we did come to the territory I did a short term locum at Danila Dilba and then worked on Bathurst Island for three years as the women and children’s GP. That was a great experience , but at that time health services on the island were not Aboriginal controlled..”

“ I love working as part of the team at Danila Dilba; I enjoy the relationships with staff and I am always learning from the Aboriginal Health Workers and the patients about different ways to practice medicine. I’ve gained experience in tropical health, public health, and management of complex chronic disease in patients of all ages and I get to visit patients in a range of settings around Darwin.”

“Working in Aboriginal controlled health services is a fantastic experience, but you have to be prepared to be challenged by the different role you play and to be part of a team”.

“You’ve got to be willing to let go of a lot of what you have learned about patients, the doctor-patient relationship, what ‘health’ is, and what people value about their health”.

“ I have two children and family in the UK. Because Aboriginal people deeply understand the importance of family relationships, I feel very supported when I need to give my family priority.”

Danila Dilba Experience Testimonials

Shaun Tatipata - Community Development Manager - Testimonial

When did you start at DD and Why?

I first started working at Danila Dilba in 2001 as a Trainee AHW. I wasn’t really sure if it was what I wanted to do, but after having a family member diagnosed with a terminal illness, all I knew was that I didn’t want to feel helpless anymore. I wanted to be able to help people and becoming an AHW and working at DD has allowed me to do that. Over the years I have had the privilege to have worked with a lot of great people. Many of them have been kind enough to share their knowledge and still continue to do so today.

What do you like about DD?

Because DD is an Aboriginal Community Control Health Service; it allows our Community to have a say in how our health services are delivered to our people. It’s because of this that we are able to make a real difference in the Community and have a positive impact on improving people’s lives.

Best thing about DD?

There are a lot of great reasons that I continue to work at DD however the main reason is that DD is a health service for our people being delivered by our people. I have much pride in working with the team at DD to deliver our innovative and holistic approach to health care where we have the ability to tailor our services to suit our Community and to respond to the health priorities identified by the Community themselves.

Danila Dilba Experience Full Time Employment

Dr James Stephen - Testimonial

“ I first started working with Aboriginal community controlled health organizations in 2005 and haven’t looked back since.

I wouldn’t call it a vocational calling that keeps me here because although there is a strong element of this its more than that, it’s the enjoyment of practicing medicine in a very social and challenging environment. Working closely with Aboriginal health workers and negotiating the many and varied cultural issues and nuances is an invigorating experience, not for the faint hearted and often extremely rewarding. The clinic has an open courtyard with the tropical sky right there above you and when the monsoonal rains come the barrage on the roof and the paving brings the whole experience into sharp focus – this is medicine with an edge.

As Dr Justine Mayer said in her testimonial “You’ve got to be willing to let go of a lot of what you have learned..about health” but it’s also a place where you can hone your medical skills at many levels. At a purely “medical” level there are many challenging acute and complex chronic disease patients but perhaps the greatest opportunity is that availed by the challenge of cross cultural communication; successfully negotiating a difficult cultural scenario and engaging people in their own health. For me that means looking beyond my own preconceived ideas and prejudice and going looking for the person right there in front of me.

When we “meet” and “see” each other that’s where it all begins and the door into the Top End Aboriginal community starts to open.


They’re a great mob to work with “

Danila Dilba Experience Doctors Employment