"Surprise" award win a reward for health service's work

Tullawon Health Service has taken out the Flinders University Rural and Remote Health Regional Achievement Award at the 2019 Community Achievement Awards.

The Yalata organisation was named an award winner from a field of more than 330 nominations across 12 categories, getting the top honour from a strong list of community contributors at the awards ceremony in Adelaide last week.

Tullawon Health Service is an Aboriginal Community Controlled health organisation which provides primary health care and chronic disease management to the Yalata community.

It administers a wide range of holistic health and wellbeing services, including primary health care, alcohol and other drugs services, aged care, child and maternal health care, and disability services.

Tullawon's interim chief executive officer Kim Lovibond was present for the ceremony and said it was a surprise to win the award.

She said the service's aim was to provide the best health care possible for people in the Yalata community.

"We were nominated anonymously by a community member and felt honoured and privileged to be nominated, so to actually win was a wonderful surprise," she said.

"We were so proud of Tullawon, the board and all the staff.

"We make sure that all the Aboriginal people in Yalata have access and the same opportunities to meet health needs as anybody else does, even though we are so remote."

She said they strove to close the gap to ensure the life expectancy for the community was as close to other Australians as possible.

"We try to do the best we can every day to create the best outcomes for our people."

Ms Lovibond said the clinic has 750 current clients - those visiting the service two times in the past year - and they were "always keeping busy".

She said Tullawon hosted two family days per year including an upcoming Christmas tree event which is celebrated with the community and sees all children under 16 receive a present, which all in Yalata were looking forward to.

For winning the category, Tullawon received a $2000 award prize from Commonwealth Bank.

The award was not the only success for the Eyre Peninsula region, as Mentally Fit EP (WCYCS) took home the TAFE SA Community Education Award.

The organisation has run campaigns such as the Rotary Men's Wellness Campaign exhibition across Eyre Peninsula.

West Coast Youth and Community Support chief executive officer Jo Clark said the win still felt "a little bit surreal".

She said it was nice to have everyone's hard work recognised.

"None of us at Mentally Fit EP or any of the suicide prevention networks... do it for the recognition," Ms Clark said.

"The work can be thankless and it can be tiring so to be recognised is nice."

The Kimba Mental Health and Wellbeing Group was named the Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation award winner.