Kambu Medical Centre was founded 32 years ago by a group of eight local residents; Ken Dalton, Cecil Fisher, Roberta Thompson, Faye Carr, Bill Robinson, Doreen Thompson to address the growing health needs of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Originally there was a meeting called by the people of the community to get a housing co-operative to be incorporated with Southern Suburbs Football Team.
The medical centre was run from a room in the home of Doreen Thompson. It provided culturally appropriate health care by doctors who travelled up from Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service Brisbane for one day a week.
It was later moved to the Red Cross Centre in Foote Lane. The staff at that stage consisted of a Doctor, Nurse, Bookkeeper, CEO of Housing and the President of Kambu Housing.
In 1975-76, a house was purchased by the housing co-op, and the medical staff moved into one of the rooms there. It was from there the Doctor and Sister would go to Wacol Hostel and conduct an outside clinic. They called this clinic the ‘Kambu Ls Davidson Medical Centre’ and was opened by Senator Neville Bonner.
The growth of the co-op and the medical centre was such that there was soon a need to expand, so a new medical centre was built beside the old nursing house at 27 Roderick Street, Ipswich. The staff now consisted of a doctor, nursing sister, bookkeeper, CEO and medical receptionist.
Later on the medical centre grew to such an extent that they needed to employ more people. By 1985, the staff increased to two nursing sisters, a health worker, CEO and bookkeeper.
In 1988 the medical centre became incorporated in its own right and was names the Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service Ipswich.
By 1994 the staff had increased again to a CEO, Finance Officer, doctor, two health workers, a trainee health worker, a driver, nutrition field officer, trainee receptionist and trainee admin assistant, all managed by a community-elected Board of Directors.
Today, Kambu Medical Centre employs over 35 staff (not including visiting specialists) and provides comprehensive medical and specialist services to the Ipswich and surrounding areas.