HEALTH EFFORT: John Flynn Hospital CEO Greg Jenke and Sally Williams have joined forces to raise funds for a medical clinic in the Solomon Islands.
HEALTH EFFORT: John Flynn Hospital CEO Greg Jenke and Sally Williams have joined forces to raise funds for a medical clinic in the Solomon Islands. Blainey Woodham D

Day on the green to fund clinic

A FRIENDSHIP formed from music has taken Sally Williams on a mission of goodwill.

The John Flynn Hospital nurse has played a central role in establishing a medical clinic in the remote village Pipisu in the Solomon Islands.

Ms Williams has raised $10,000 since last September and liaised with the area’s MP, the village chief and the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health to get permission to build the Pipisu Medical Clinic.

Ms Williams said the project came about after meeting a group of traditional pan pipers from the island of Malaita.

“I’m a member of Samba Blisstas carnival drumming group and was introduced to the group early last year,” she said.

“They were playing a funded tour that included the Blues Festival.”

The group managed to save enough money during their tour to build a small community centre in their village.

“They hoped to use it to attract tourists and create employment for locals and a few of us decided we would go on a bit of an adventure holiday to visit,” Ms Williams said.

While planning the trip Ms Williams said it became apparent there was no adequate medical care available to the people of Pipisu, so she made it her mission to help.

“The nearest hospital is at the top of Malaita, the island is about 200 miles long and Pipisu is at the bottom,” she said.

Ms Williams approached John Flynn Hospital chief executive officer Greg Jenke who threw his support behind the initiative.

“He said he had spent some time in the Solomons and offered to match up to $5000 of what I raise annually to contribute to the building and running of the clinic,” she said.

Plans for the clinic were drawn by the Department of Health and the clinic will be run by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health upon completion; but even then Ms Williams plans to continue to provide financial support.

“So far I have managed to raise $5000 and the hospital has contributed $5000 but it is going to take around $30,000 to get it completed,” she said.

“The $10,000 that I am hoping to contribute each year will cover most of the supply costs to run the clinic and the director of health has agreed to provide two nurses, a tinny and an outboard motor.”

Construction of the clinic is scheduled to be completed in about 12 months and Ms Williams already has the next project in sight.

“The next challenge is to build a staff quarters; it will just be a simple two-bedroom house that is comfortable enough for doctors and nurses to stay in,” she said.

To raise funds Ms Williams will host a charity golf day at the Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club on March 6.

For more information or to donate call 0423 018 496.



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