Purple House staff with Rotary members and officials, some from interstate, during the handover of the vehicles on Friday.
By ERWIN CHLANDA
UPDATED 9am Sunday
A 2WD hatch and a 4WD dual-cab, both brand new, are replacing a 1959 Morris Minor used as a support vehicle of Western Desert Dialysis, better known as Purple House, just elected the 2018 Telstra NT Business of the Year.
The Morris is owned by Sarah Brown, the CEO of Purple House in Alice Springs, but had been pressed into service when needs exceeded the limits of the small fleet.
The NGO’s best known vehicle is its Purple Truck with dialysis equipment on board, carrying out regular rounds of remote Central Australia.
The boost to the fleet came from donations by Rotary Clubs in NT, SA, NSW and ACT, and generous deals from Sutton Motors and Peter Kittle Toyota, both in Alice Springs.
The 4WD will do bush runs to remote communities in the NT and WA.
Western Desert Dialysis is about to open three new dialysis units at Papunya, Docker River and Mt Liebig, following the Federal Government adding dialysis services to the Medicare Benefits Schedule in April.
For many years NGO had to rely mostly on private donations and fund raising such as selling donated Aboriginal art works.
Rates of end-stage kidney disease are vastly greater among Indigenous people, especially living in remote communities, up to 50 times that of non-Indigenous people.
Last year Ms Brown was honoured as the Hesta Australian Nurse of the Year in recognition of her long time service to Indigenous people of The Centre.
Rotary Clubs in ACT and southern NSW, in the Blue Mountains and northern Sydney / Central Coast led the way with donations of $1,000 each, supported by the Alice Springs Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Alice Springs Mbantua and Centrecorp. The Rotary Club of Gloucester, NSW, donated almost $28,500.
Working with the Rotary Australia World Community Service and its Dick Smith Community Grants “umbrella” the campaign eventually raised more than $80,000.