BIRIPI'S primary health care manager, Shannon Robertson, was named a finalist in the 2013 HESTA Primary Health Care Awards.
Shannon was recognised as one of four finalists in the Individual Distinction category for providing care of the highest order, while remodelling programs and services and dramatically boosting patient services.
He oversaw a 30 per cent increase in services for Aboriginal people with complex care needs, and a 100 per cent increase in health assessments and care plans for people with chronic conditions in the area.
However, not one to boast about his own achievements, Shannon's focus at a recent afternoon tea with representatives of HESTA, was instead to focus on the efforts of the entire Biripi team.
Shannon took up his position at Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service about two and half years ago and says he could not have achieved anything without the wonderful people who work around him.
"Biripi is such a wonderful organisation, helping so many people," explains Shannon.
"We employ more than 100 people now, across general medical, the dental clinic, maternal health, childcare, aged care and out-of-home care and there's no way I could have become a finalist without the people that work with and around me."
The awards recognise the dedication and professionalism of those working in primary health care including physiotherapists, dentists, pharmacists, therapists, GPs, rehabilitation professionals, health educators and medical practice managers.
Shannon was nominated for the award by his health service colleagues, who highlighted his strategic leadership at a challenging time for the service when its future was under review, and his help in expanding the reach of services.
"I came to the service at a difficult time when there was confusion about how to meet the requirements of funding bodies and deliver the right quality care mix, based on community need. Together, we have remodelled service delivery so we can offer a broader range of services - to try to close the gap in care between Aboriginal and non-indigenous people in our community," Shannon said.