Congratulations to Gail Yarran 2018 HESTA Australian Nurse of the Year

Photograph of Gail Yarran
Gail Yarran (pictured centre) at an event celebrating her award.
June 6, 2018

Gail Yarran’s outstanding work in improving and advocating for better delivery of health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples living across Western Australia was recognised in May when Gail was awards the 2018 HESTA Australia Nurse of the Year.

With a nursing career spanning more than 50 years, which includes work as the only Aboriginal Graduate Registered Nurse at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) in the 2007 – 2008 cohort, RPH ATSI Consumer Advisory Group member and numerous other roles across the coal face of healthcare and service development.

Gail overcame many challenges from a young age in her aspirations to become a nurse, including intergenerational trauma and institutional racism across many parts of Australian society. It was encouragement from her family, with who she shares a strong kinship with, that encouraged her to achieve her lifelong goal of becoming a nurse.

Gail has worked across several hospitals including Princess Margaret Hospital, Osborne Park Hospital and has been working with Derbarl Yerrigan for nearly 30 years to try and give back to her mob and significantly improving access to health services.

Liesl Baxter, Coordinator Maternal and Child Health, Derbarl Yerrigan nominated Gail for the impressive accolade, crediting her friendship with Gail as a turning point in understanding the difficulties that still face ATSI people in accessing health services.

"It was through my friendship with this beautiful woman I started to develop an understanding of the difficulties that ATSI people are still facing in health and education," Liesl said.

“The devastating reality of it all is that Gail and I had very different upbringings and life experiences but the challenges that Gail faced only made her more determined to succeed and with that success she has been able to give back to her mob through her work as a Registered Nurse in hospitals and at Derbarl Yerrigan. Gail is truly deserving of this amazing award and the recognition of her passion, determination and ability to make a difference to her mob that comes with it,” she said.

The winners of the 2018 HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards were announced at an awards dinner on Thursday May 10 at Pullman Melbourne on the Park.

Congratulations Gail.