Our story

Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service has a strong history serving the community and has been operating in Forster since 1996. Use the below timeline to scroll through the decades.

1996 – Early days

At the start of 1996, two half clinic days were operating at Forster. Services were provided by a Doctor, Nurse and Aboriginal Health Worker.

The clinic was originally called Cabarita Clinic, an outreach service of the Biripi Aboriginal Medical Services (Biripi). It operated from the back of the Forster Local Aboriginal Land Council.

By the end of 1996, the clinic was operating 4 days a week.

1997 – Growth

In 1997, the Tobwabba Aboriginal community were consulted with the concept of encouraging an extra 30% of non Indigenous people to come to the clinic.

To make the clinic more viable and sustain it’s growth, we needed to generate more income.

The community agreed.

New health roles

The clinic continued to grow with new funding. The Doctor and Nurse were paid by auspiced funds from Biripi and Administration, and other health roles were supported by the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program.

The clinic stock and a car was provided through Biripi, using Cabarita Aboriginal Medical Services funds.

FLALC funding

Forster Local Aboriginal Land Council (FLALC) provided accommodation, power and at times a car for the clinic. They also gave a small budget of $2,000 per annum to assist with one off purchases.

1999 – Registered business

On 14th May, 1999 Cabarita Aboriginal Medical Service was officially incorporated.

2002 – Tobwabba AMS

On 13th March 2002, the clinic name was officially changed to Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service Incorporated.

2005 – New clinic

On 29th June, Tobwabba AMS invited Aunty Madge Bolt and Uncle Keith Leon, Woromi Elders, to officially open the new clinic.

The new clinic enabled our clinic to accommodate the growth of Doctors, Dentists, visiting Specialists and Allied services.

Our practice today

Today, many of the original practitioners still work at Tobwabba AMS. This includes Steve Nye, the first nurse; Tany Simon, the first Aboriginal Health Worker, and Leeann Simon and Anita Grothkopp the original members of our Administration team. Similarly, our first Doctor, Dr Gibbons, although she currently practices overseas, continues to work at Tobwabba AMS when she is residing in Australia.

This continuity demonstrates the committed and stable environment at our practice, as we continue to provide the highest quality healthcare for the people of the Worimi Nation.

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