EVENT: National Reconciliation Week 2023

June 4th, 2023

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs from 27th May to 3rd June every year.

It “is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.”

“The theme for 2023, ‘Be a Voice for Generations’… urges all Australians to use their power, their words, and their actions to create a better, more just Australia for all of us. “

We would like to take the opportunity with this year’s theme to acknowledge the work of generations past, the founders of UPK and Healthabitat many decades ago. They have inspired and influenced many generations of ‘voices’ in improving housing to improve health, which continues into the future.


The original UPK meeting team in the 1980’s – From top left: Dr Soong, Malcolm Collings, Ivan Baker, Kawaki Thompson, Paul Pholeros, Tony Davies, Douglas Baker, Stephan Rainow, Glendle Schrader, Robert Stevens, Ray Blight, Jon Willis, Frank Young, Paul Torzillo, Yami Lester, Gary Lewis, Yangi Baker, Muntatjara Wilson, Nura Ward

Local teams

Over almost 40 years of work, literally thousands of local people have been employed through the Housing for Health program. This work would be impossible without this on-the-ground support.


Aputula/Finke Survey-Fix 2 Team Photo 2022


Between 1987 and 1990 UPK became regarded nationally as a yardstick for environmental intervention in Indigenous communities. Currently the HLP’s are the industry best practice for targeted maintenance to improve health. The reasons for this success then, as they are today are:

  • the initiative and motivation is provided by local Indigenous people
  • immediate action – there was ‘no survey without service’, the Dr Fred Hollows principle that insisted on improvements during not after the work.
  • a strong health priority, known as the nine Healthy Living Practices, focussed limited resources onto important health targets
  • strong liaison, using a predominately local teams, ensuring all community members knew of the project