BTA in line-up for gongs

Danielle RaffaeleNorth West Telegraph
BTA board secretary Telfia Cameron and BHP general manager rail Warren Wellbeloved with supplies for the BTA’s Mini Mart initiative.
Camera IconBTA board secretary Telfia Cameron and BHP general manager rail Warren Wellbeloved with supplies for the BTA’s Mini Mart initiative. Credit: Supplied/Bloodwood Tree Association/BTA

The bloodwood tree, native to Australia’s north, has been used by First Nations people for traditional medicine. And it’s turning out to be the perfect title for an Indigenous-led health group.

Like the flora it’s named after that was used to boost the health of Aboriginal people, the Bloodwood Tree Association has kept Indigenous wellbeing at the forefront of its operations for more than four decades by rolling out specialised services and programs.

And now the group has been recognised for its vital work through a swathe of Statewide awards.

The BTA has beennominated in three categories in this year’s WA Regional Achievement Awards, including the RAC Volunteering, Prime Super Business Achievement and Woolworths Community Group of the Year prizes.

The awards aim to encourage and recognise the contributions of businesses, communities and individuals across regional WA.

The BTA is among those that will be crossing their fingers to take out a gong after being nominated this year, for its work targeting issues such as mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, trauma and drug and alcohol dependency.

BTAchief executive Kelly Howlett said she hoped its volunteer base will be recognised for “closing the gap” for 43 years.

“They’re not seeking recognition but I think that it’s important that if there are opportunities to recognise those contributions we should be doing that,” she said.

“Here’s this proactive Aboriginal group of people who’ve ... rolled up their sleeves, they’re giving their time freely and they’re just getting out there and doing it.”

Mrs Howlett said the enduring legacy of deputy chair Alfred Barker, treasurer Chris Turlin and secretary Telfia Cameron were integral to the group.

“I think that everyone would support that this board, this group, this family who have been leading and running Bloodwood Tree, have done a tremendous job and continue to do a tremendous job under difficult operating conditions,” she said.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on December 3.

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