Uncle Stevie’s personal journey inspires leaders

Ngarrindjeri man Uncle Stevie Sumner delivered the keynote address at the annual faculty leadership conference at Cape Schanck on the traditional lands of the Boon Wurrung and Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation.

As CEO of Moorundi Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service, headquartered in Murray Bridge, South Australia, Stevie spoke about his commitment to Ngarrindjeri country and Ngarrindjeri people.

“To holistically improve the health and wellbeing of our community from a cultural perspective and ensure that those in need can easily access health services needed when they need them.

Our Culture, Our Community and Our Ruwe (Land). They cannot be separated.

We want the community to be able to take control of their own health, to deliver services in the way the community would like them delivered, and to respond to all their health needs,” Stevie said.

With a large catchment area spanning all of Ngarrindjeri country, Moorundi has gone through a significant increase in staff numbers, programs available for community, net worth, and financial support for the organisation since 2017.

Stevie shared personal reflections and insights from his rich and varied career leading to his current position, including across roles in Raukkan Community Council, state and local health organisations, and advocacy for Aboriginal people.

He was awarded Elder of the Year during the 2022 Murray Bridge NAIDOC week celebrations. Stevie is a passionate and private family man, and on the weekends can be found coaching AFL in the local league which he has done for 30 years.

Moorundi, along with the University of Melbourne, is a proud participant in Jawun which facilitates a two-way exchange. Jawun is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at building the capacity of Indigenous people and communities, entrepreneurial activity, and business planning. Jawun means 'friend' or 'family', an honour given to the organisation by the Kuku Yalanji people of Mossman Gorge in Queensland's Cape York.

Moorundi has hosted several secondees from the university, most recently Paul Noonan, Director, Communication and Marketing.