Derbarl Yerrigan would not be where it is today without the New Era Aboriginal Fellowship (NEAF) Committee, which sprouted in the late 1960s in order to lobby both to community and government about the dire need for an independent facility dedicated to Aboriginal health in the Perth Metropolitan region. Thanks to these passionate Noongar volunteers, the Perth Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) was built on Beaufort Street in 1974 – only the second Aboriginal Medical Service to exist in Australia at the time. The service quickly grew from its original five staff up to 40 as demand for services flourished.
In 1998, we relocated to our current, purpose-built facility on Wittenoom Street in the heart of East Perth. Our name was also changed to Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service, in reference to the Noongar name for the Swan River. Our current location is a hub for Aboriginal health, with Yorgum Aboriginal Services and Wungening Corporation in close proximity.
Derbarl Yerrigan has since expanded to include four successful, busy clinics in the major hubs of the Metropolitan area, employing 127 staff and delivering a comprehensive healthcare service and a number of specialised programs throughout. 45 years from those humble beginnings we are bigger, better and growing stronger as the Mother organisation in Noongar Boodja.