Award winning film maker documents Ronno's kidney transplatation
March 2016
Meet Ronno Morgan, a young Indigenous man from the Kimberley who invited Menzies School of Health Research to film and document his real-life journey showing what it means to face kidney failure, the need to travel thousands of kilometres from home to get treatment and the challenging processes associated with kidney transplantation. 

Mother’s Day is a documentary made in response to a request from a young man who wanted to show the impact of kidney disease on Aboriginal people from remote areas. When Ronald Morgan (Ronno) was four years old, he became the first Aboriginal child to receive a mother to child kidney transplant. 24 years later that kidney failed and Ronno was facing the prospect of relocating thousands of miles away from his home and family in order to commence dialysis.

Menzies filmed and documented his real-life journey showing what it means to face kidney failure, being displaced from community and separated from family and the challenging processes associated with kidney transplantation. Ronno hoped this documentary would assist other Aboriginal patients and their families develop a better understanding of kidney health, available treatment options and how to engage with and negotiate the health system.

The documentary was made by award winning film maker Brendan Fletcher and Paul Bell who have a long standing relationship with the Morgan family.

Filming commenced in early 2013 and followed Ronno on an often tumultuous journey, as his clinical condition and treatment requirements dictated his movements between his home community of Wyndham and Perth.

On Mother’s day in 2014 Ronno received a deceased donor kidney transplant, providing a bitter sweet end to this documentary.  

Kidney Health for All: A report on policy options for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Kidney Health
September 2015
This report is informed by Kidney Health Australia’s World Kidney Day Leadership Breakfast and Policy Roundtable, and provides an overview of the issues experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with kidney disease. A range of policy-focused recommendations are provided for consideration by the Federal Government, State and Territory Governments, key health organisations working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and the kidney community.

You can read this report here.

Take Care of Yourself Festival – Thirranupenu Thurru Festival
Wadeye (Pt Keats), Northern Territory
Nginipunh patha, thimikit patha magulkul patha i kumulung patha
In June 2013 at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Thamarrurr Catholic College in Wadeye, this festival featured health activities for all with presentations on healthy kidneys, healthy heart and healthy blood.

Theodora Narndu welcomed all to country and Dr Greg Perry, nephrologist, talked on 'how important are health kidneys?'.  Laurencia Parmbuk told a personal story of how she managed peritoneal dialysis at home so she could be with family and friends. Wadeye (aka Pt Keats) is a remote Aboriginal community situated 420 kilometres south-west of Darwin, the sixth most populated town in the Northern Territory, with the largest Aboriginal community in the region. There is no dialysis unit near Wadeye, so community members travel a long way to Darwin Hospital for dialysis.

Health festivals incorporate music, song and dance with health education and have proved to be successful in passing on kidney stories. Hokio played 'PD it's easy' (with permission of Jimmy Little Foundation) featuring Mark Parmbuk and the Emu Sisters.

Everyone was proud of these young people, Wadeye's 'Billy the Kidney crew' ( local school kids) as they danced with MusoMagic rap dancer Rob while parents and Elders joined in.  See video.

Ngawurrayamangamiya Kidney Health Festival
Bathurst Island, Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory
Kidney Health Australia's Billy the Kidney was a big hit with Tiwi kids from Bathurst Island. The kids sang ‘Swap soft drink – all for water – we're sugar free!’

This message supports our strong message to ‘Drink Water Instead’ which tells the story of why it’s so important to drink water instead of sugary drinks, especially in hot communities. Sing along as they tell us this story – and how to keep kidneys stronger longer!

Kidney Health Australia hosted this successful Community Partnership Kidney Health event with the Julanimawu Health Centre Wurrumiyanga, supported by financial assistance from government.

Read our fact sheet 'Drink Water Instead' here.

Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks is associated with the development of chronic kidney disease and kidney stone formation. Read Kidney Health Australia's position statement here.

The Purple Dialysis Truck
An initiative of the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation, is a mobile dialysis unit servicing areas in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

The bus enables people on dialysis to return to home country so they can be supported by their families and take part in community life – and be healthier and happier. The communities benefit from their presence as well.

Click here to find out more: Purple House Dialysis Centres and Purple Dialysis Truck.

Indigenous healthIndigenous health research
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