Aboriginal Liaison Officer
Prince of Wales Hospital & Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital
"My role is to support Aboriginal patients and their families. We see lots of different families and dynamics from all over. There’s a lot of things that you will have to put in place - accommodation, financial support, direction and advocating for services they may need to get home.
My great health tip is to own your health issues. The number one thing when I go to wards is to educate our Aboriginal patients and families - it's very important we are supporting and making our own contribution to our health issues. And there’s lots of information for people to engage with out there.
When I first started, I saw a very proud traditional man from the North Coast. He requested a smoking ceremony before his surgery. So the Nurse Unit Manager and I arranged it in the Edmund Blacket grounds. The family gathered all the materials and the kids are there with the digeridoo. Before you know it, it’s up and running and we’re all getting cleansed and participating in this beautiful traditional ceremony. The gentleman said ‘I am cleansed and I’m feeling better, my family are there, my elders are there, I can see them and I’m happy now to go through this surgery’. And he came through with flying colours.
What matters to me most in my job is that I do the job well.”