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Charleville & Western Areas Aboriginal & Torres Straight Islander Community Health

CWAATSICH is the largest employer of Aboriginal people in Charleville, and offers health and medical services that are culturally appropriate for Aboriginal people, as well as health and medical services for non-Aboriginal people. Apart from its head office in Charleville, it has offices in Mitchell, Roma and Quilpie, and offers outreach services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Surat, Injune, Augathella, Windorah and surrounding areas. Its board includes representatives of the Gunggari, Mandandanji, Kullili, Mardigan, Mithica, Boonthamarra, Budjiti and Kunja peoples.


CWAATSICH is a different kind of health service: it works not only to provide a health service but also to provide spiritual healing when there is grief and loss in Charleville.  The Aboriginal flag is then flown at half-mast, and the organisation supplies food to the bereaved family. It has two overriding principles that represent its special role in the lives of both Aboriginal families and non-Aboriginal families. The first is cultural respect and a commitment to deliver culturally appropriate services. The second is a holistic approach, using the best available programs and services for “the physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional and social well-being of clients.”

Aboriginal artwork outside Charleville and Western Areas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health (CWAATSICH)

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Radio Station 4rrFM

4RR FM Community Radio Station - Bidjara Media & Broadcasting Company provides a local, state and national news and information service from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective to the towns of Charleville and Cunnamulla.

The need for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander broadcasting service in the region was identified in the “Bidjara Outback Radio Report”, commissioned by Bidjara Housing Company in 1997. In 1998 the company undertook a pilot project for the establishment and operation of a radio station to provide a broadcasting service as well as training and employment for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Bidjara Media & Broadcasting Company Limited was formally incorporated in July 1999, and was granted its first Temporary Community Broadcast Licence (4RR FM 105.7) in March 2000.

The station employs four local Aboriginal people who have extensive experience within the Broadcasting Industry.

4RR FM Bidjara Radio Station, Charleville
4RR Bidgara Radio Station, Charleville

4RR FM Bidjara Radio Station, Charleville

Now in its 17th year of operation, the station covers over 20 interviews per week, providing information on issues ranging from Health (including diabetes, suicide, drug use, and Parkinson’s disease) to education, employment and local community events. The staff often conduct outside broadcasts from various locations, and provides their audience with a great blend of music – often showcasing Aboriginal and local artists as well as new and classic contemporary music.

The station plans activities and broadcasts throughout NAIDOC week, and produces the Tourist Radio (88FM) for the Murweh Shire Council. The 4RR FM annual ‘Charleville’s Got Talent’ is held at the Charleville State School; in its first year, there were 22 entrants and over the years that number has grown rapidly. Nowadays, “people have it on their bucket list to go on it.”

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