Deadly Table Talk with the Closing the Gap Team – May 2021

Welcome to our 1st Deadly Table Talk with the Closing the Gap team. The team feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring the stories of the people they work with, their families and the community and their chronic illness journeys.

Today, Aboriginal Outreach Workers, Kell and Tre and Care Coordinator, Paddy went to have a yarn with Closing the Gap client, Michelle.

Michelle, local resident who grew up in Penrith, was sadly diagnosed with cancer in 2017, and was given bad news about her life expectancy. Michelle was then referred to the Closing the Gap team via the Nepean Cancer Clinic.

Aboriginal Outreach Worker,  Kelli-Lee explained, “When this referral came through to the team at our weekly allocation, there was a sense of great sadness and silence within the team. This client was dependant on alcohol and had other medical conditions that were still very fresh and untreated.

Care Coordinator, Sara jumped straight onto this referral taking Michelle on as her client, and I was given the Outreach. While working with Michelle, we spent many days, weeks, nights and months, along with other medical staff, supporting and walking Michelle’s journey undergoing operations, chemotherapy, radiation treatments and weekly GP Clinic appointments. During this time Michelle went cold turkey and was able to give up alcohol and has now been cancer free for 4 years!

Michelle asked our team to help her find her mob, so we were able to connect Michelle to Link up and due to this, Michelle has since been reconnected to her mob. Michelle was able to go back home to see her country and meet her mob back in Moree.”

Michelle tells us of the trip back to country and her meeting with Uncle Paul Spearin. “Walking on Country, I felt a sense of healing in my body after walking to the local areas waterhole. I was able to visit the sacred scar tree on Mungindi Mission. My nephew and I sat around with Uncle Paul to discuss our family tree.”

To contact to Closing the Gap team, please call 02 4706 0299 or email

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