CEO Sarah Brown has run Purple House since 2003, after many years working as a registered nurse out bush. What started in her living room, Purple House now employs 50 people and runs fourteen remote dialysis clinics the Northern Territory and Western Australia with more in development.
“The services we provide mean that people can live in their remote communities and receive dialysis treatment on-country,” Sarah said. “It’s about Aboriginal people finding their own solutions to their health issues,” she said. “You can’t teach your grandkids about culture via Skype, or from a hospital bed in Alice Springs,” Sarah said. “It is a real tangible threat to cultural continuity.”
The team here at Purple House, an Alice Springs-based not-for-profit organisation that has been supporting Indigenous renal patients in remote communities for more than 17 years. Purple House was established after Pintupi people and community art centres raised $1 million through an art auction in 2000. The aim was to install dialysis units in Indigenous communities to avoid the need to
travel for hundreds of kilometres for treatment, as well as the cultural problems that accompanied displacement from home.
Sarah has worked tirelessly to improve the health of Indigenous Australians living in remote communities and she is continuing to successfully expand the reach of Purple House.
We’ve had dialysis in Kintore and Alice Springs since 2004 and have helped lots of other communities to develop services, but Purple House is so much more. There’s real ownership, hope and lots of fun and laughter. We seem to be able to make the very most of opportunities and attract and keep the most amazing staff.
I feel so absolutely honoured that Pintupi people offered me this chance to work with them. I am learning every day and despite the setbacks, the inevitable loss of people to this horrid disease and the challenges on providing health services in such remote locations, we seem to go from strength to strength.
We love making friends, we love visitors and we really like sharing our stories with people from around Australia and the world!
Australian Story – Jack Thompson and Purple Truck:
Ingenious Oz Project NT