From adversity to nursing’s highest honour

Indigenous nurse Gail Yarran is in the running to be named Australia’s best nurse.

Ms Yarran, of the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in East Perth, is one of four finalists in the national 2018 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards.

The award winner will be announced at a ceremony in Melbourne on May 10.

Ms Yarran overcame institutional racism, discrimination and adversity to earn her tertiary nursing qualification and has dedicated her life to the delivery of better health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across WA.

She is up for the title of Nurse or Midwife of the Year.

Meanwhile, two Aboriginal leaders in Aboriginal health care in WA have also been recognised for their lifelong dedication and commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people.

The women — Donnybrook elder Gloria Khan and Derby elder Maxine Armstrong — were posthumously honoured with the Aboriginal Health Council of WA’s prestigious lifetime achievement awards.

Ms Armstrong, who passed away in March, was the last of five founding members of the Derby Aboriginal Health Service. She served as chairperson for over 15 years.

She was also chairperson of the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service board for over 10 years and a director on the AHCWA Board for more than a decade.

Ms Khan, who passed away in February, worked tirelessly to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people across Australia.

She served as the AHCWA chairperson from 2005-2008, during which time she was also the chair and the deputy chair of the South West Aboriginal Medical Service and executive director of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Ms Khan also sat on several committees including the Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention and the Telethon Kids Institute’s WA Aboriginal Child Health Survey Steering Committee, the largest and most comprehensive study into the health, wellbeing and development of Indigenous children.


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