School of Indigenous Studies

David Aanundsen


UWA Social Work Graduate David Aanundsen 

Before undertaking studies at The University of Western Australia (UWA) my work choices were limited. I previously worked as a courier, cleaner, waiter and spray painter. Since completing a Bachelor of Social Work at UWA in 1999 I had the opportunity to travel around Australia in a range of work roles and some great experiences.

When I graduated in 1999 I was still volunteering at the WA AIDS Council and continued to do this while applying for jobs. Due to my work in the AIDS / Sexual Health area I secured a position in Sydney at the AIDS Council of NSW. I was born in Sydney and grew up in Perth so it was great to go and see where I was born, and life in a big city. I worked at the AIDS Council as an Aboriginal Project Officer with Aboriginal clients with HIV and participated in community education and promotions.

From 2001  - 2007, I was employed as the Aboriginal Men’s Sexual Health Promotion Officer at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) in Sydney. The job involved working with hospital staff, Aboriginal community members, school education and various sexual health campaigns. While working at RPA I decided to continue my studies part-time and in 2006 I received a scholarship to study in the Master of Public Health. While I completed most of the units, I am still to finish my MPH.

In 2007 I moved to the Northern Territory and a position as Public Health Manager for the Tennant Creek Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS). In this job I was responsible for managing sexual health, eye health, health promotion, data systems, men’s health, youth health and chronic disease. During 2007 the Australian Government Intervention (AGI) began in the Northern Territory and some of my work was involved in this area.

I was offered a position in 2008 to work on the Commonwealth Government’s Primary Health Reform initiative as a Regionalisation Project Officer attached to the Tennant Creek Aboriginal Medical Services. In 2009 I accepted a position to continue working on Commonwealth’s Primary Health Reform with the Northern Territory Government.  This position included working across the Barkly (the size of Victoria and Tasmania combined).

In 2010 I transferred within the Northern Territory Government, Department of Health and to become Public Health Coordinator where I am based in Tennant Creek but work across the Barkly and often in Alice Springs and Darwin. My current role involves coordinating 50 visiting health services to five remote health centres, a range of public health duties and continual quality improvement (CQI).