A trip to Elcho Island and a visit to Darwin by an expert in transport has got in the way of a final year column for Rollo this month.
He sends the following message from a sun filled Galiwin'ku:
What a year and what experiences.
In both the land of pharmacy and the land of Aboriginal disadvantage there have been some steps forward that could lead to bigger things around the corner of 2009 and the beyond.
In pharmacy there is a renewed voice for change coming from the younger generation and if this can be harvested the "status quo" proponents may have an uphill battle stemming the tide for change.
How long will government keep funding a profession that is not asked to account for its spending and educating health professionals who do not use their knowledge in carrying out their practice of supplying PBS to the public?
Of course there are exceptions, but in the main - with 78% of graduates going into retail pharmacy- the knowledge is certainly not shared with other participants in primary health care and preventative health.
May 2009 be the year it happens and commences a surge towards a new model of pharmacy practice that was signalled 30 years ago when the Guild turned 50 years of age.
The Aboriginal people of Australia have witnessed the "apology" but still wait for their share of the action to close the gap.
If the life expectancy stat is not bad enbough try the median age at death - for Aboriginal men in the Northern Territory it was 43 years in 2004.
As many men dying before the age of 43 as after it.
Health planners must realise they cannot change this unless they give a dramatic boost to alleviating the social determinants of overcrowded houses, low employment and domestic or personal hygiene.
Some models of employment opportunity will emerge like the establishment of a pharmacy business at Elcho Island and this only if the government people in charge of the land allow it to happen.
As if we are short of land!!
Have a great Christmas and all the best fpor 2009 together.