The Sunrise Way


The Sunrise Way has been approved by the Board of Sunrise Health Service as a policy document designed to guide the way in which Sunrise Health Service will deliver its health and care responsibilities into the future.

As you carefully study the document you will note that it doesn’t cast aside other “rule” books and direction or instruction already in place.

The Sunrise Way is much more about how we communicate as team members with each other and community members, some of whom are Sunrise’s clients or patients. It brings into context a closer and more appropriate guide to cultural interface, respect and understanding.

Clinically I am of the view that it describes to all levels of staff working at our health centres and those working on a regional and visiting basis a different approach in the interpretation and understanding of care- particularly from the view point of the client or person seeking advice or care. There is a wider emphasis on the involvement of family and the involvement of Aboriginal Health Workers, in particular, in interpreting situations, background and the environment of the person or group concerned, i.e. the culturally safe approach. These aspects are very much part of Sunrise’s population-based delivery of primary health care and preventative health directions responding to agreed strategy and business plans.

The Sunrise Way articulates important principals that assist us to have the right mind-set when approaching our work. It doesn’t stop at the community level, rather it describes concerns and offers ideas to health practitioners and providers on people’s journeys into acute care situations and the desired relationships with professionals external to Sunrise.

The Sunrise Way has been developed by a team of people following a range of consultation at community and Board level. There are certainly voices of experience coming through, echoing the thoughts of practitioners and professionals but more importantly from those experienced in community relations and interface.

It has been said that The Sunrise Way is Sunrise Health Service’s way of, to use a most often quoted phrase in today’s political climate, “Closing the Gap”.

There is much to be done before concepts and ideas addressed in The Sunrise Way become a reality- changing practices including understanding the directions required by the Board, increasing resources (particularly at the community level) and increasing awareness and community involvement just to name a few.

The management of change and focus will be a task that will beset and test us all and will require a strong commitment to the real meaning “community control, empowerment- not just at the governance level but at the community level as well, where options and decisions made by recipients of our health care are included in all activities so that they achieve good health outcomes for themselves and their families.

Away from those issues around medical and primary health care The Sunrise Way is very strong on the concept of Mind, Body and Spirit as a central theme to the addressing of health issues. This in itself very much includes and stresses the importance of traditional and cultural beliefs and practices as a key plank in the understanding of health care delivery at the community face.

The Sunrise Way outlines an innovative approach to some key challenges facing Primary Health Care Providers, in particular those Indigenous services working in a remote environment. The ideas and material addressed in The Sunrise Way have been expressed by individual members of the different Sunrise Boards over the years since the day of the inception of Sunrise Health Service, but from the supporters and auspicing body at the Jawoyn AGM which lead to the incorporation of the Sunrise Health Service and its commencement as a Coordinated Care Trial from 1998 onwards.

I recommend the meaning and urge you to consider the implications brought forward in this important policy document, The Sunrise Way, and I look forward to working with people committed to the attainment of good health by our membership and those living in the communities we serve.


Dale Campbell
Chief Executive Officer
September 2016



The Sunrise Way - Introduction

The Sunrise Way - A Concept for Change

(Uploaded: July 2010)

Accompanying Letter to Plan

Plan - Infrastructure Requirements

(Uploaded: January 2012)