In May this year, Purple House opened a newly staffed renal unit on Galiwin’ku or Elcho Island in partnership with Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation.

The island is located just off the coast of east Arnhem land and is home to more than 2,000 people. Residents requiring nurse assisted dialysis have previously been forced to relocate over 500kms away to Darwin to receive the treatment they need to stay alive. The newly opened two-chair unit on Elcho Island will allow four patients to return home at a time for up to three or four months.

Purple House chartered a plane to fly Darwin-based patients home to Elcho Island to attend the opening ceremony of the new unit. Yolngu elder, Malawa Dhamarrandji, was one of the patients brought home for this special day. It was the first time he had been home in about six years, and he told everyone “Here in my home town, I reckon it’s paradise. There’s all the family, it’s all family – all my grandsons, granddaughters, everyone.”

His daughter, Minna Dhamarrandji, believes “home is the best medicine” and that the new unit “just helps the whole community because you’re bringing elders, you’re bringing family members, loved ones back home that haven’t been able to be home for maybe 10 years.”

We are so thrilled to enable Yolngu dialysis patients to return to country and reconnect with their family and community!