Location Feature – Nhulunbuy

Nhulunbuy is a small town on the Gove Peninsula that serves as a hub for East Arnhem Land. Erin Mathieson had the opportunity to locum out there for a few weeks in March and she very kindly shared her experience!

 

Nhulunbuy through a sono’s eyes

The town here in Gove is pretty small, about 4,000 people. However, there are so many remote communities around in which patients are flown to Gove to receive their medical care. You never know what your day is going to bring. Some days are pretty cruisy and relaxing, while other days are just madness.

The hospital and the staff here are just beautiful though. Everyone at the hospital has been so welcoming. I have never worked at a hospital where all of the departments actually work together as a team like I have here. I see ED doctors, ward nurses and even patients at the local woolies and everyone stops and says hello. 

The work here is pretty different to what I have experienced down in Victoria and even in Darwin. You are working closely with Yolngu patients and their families. It has been helpful to learn some of the Yolngu language, to introduce myself to my patients and make them to feel more comfortable before scanning them. 

 

Adventuring in the downtime

What has been great about coming to Nhulunbuy, has been the chance to get out and explore the area. The other sonographers and radiographers have adopted me into their families and have taken me out on trips over the weekend, had me over for dinner and invited me to join the local netball team.

The weekend just gone, we spent all morning traveling around to different beaches. The weather was terrible in town, with a big downpour of rain but we persevered and by the time we got to the beach the weather had cleared up. We ended up having the entire beach to ourselves and were able to relax and swim in the crystal clear water (of course still keeping an eye out for crocs). Erin locuming in Nhulunbuy in March 2024