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2010 Deadly Awards: Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Posted on: 28 September, 2010
Issue: Vol 10 No 3, July 2010 - September 2010
Related to Health services Workforce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers

The 16th Deadly Awards were held at the Sydney Opera House on the 27 September, recognising outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievements in sport, the arts, music and health.

Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Dr. Peter O’Mara

The Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Award was given to Dr Peter O’Mara. Dr O’Mara is a Wiradjuri man from central New South Wales and has worked as a general practitioner in an Aboriginal community-controlled health service for nearly 10 years. He completed his medical degree from the University of Newcastle in 1999. He became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 2003 and obtained his Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice/Graduate Diploma in Rural General Practice in 2007. In October 2009, Dr O’Mara was elected President of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) and he aims to increase the numbers of Indigenous doctors and medical students. Dr O’Mara is actively involved in a number of committees, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Working Group, the Australian Medical Association Taskforce on Indigenous Health, the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges Indigenous Health sub-committee (co-chair) and the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress Council (deputy chair).

Health Worker of the Year

Colleen Cawood (NSW)

Colleen Cawood is an Aboriginal Health Education Worker at the Prince of Wales Hospital where she has worked for 17.5 years. Born in La Perouse, Sydney, Colleen is a respected Elder, mother and grandmother, and a tireless worker for Indigenous people in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Colleen develops and runs healthy living programs, particularly for older, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who suffer with lifestyle conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, respiratory and other physical conditions. Programs are targeted at sustainable exercise and nutrition for a healthy lifestyle, providing social interaction and greater community wellbeing. At the age of 62 years, and for over 14 years, Colleen has conducted Waves, an aqua aerobics course for aged persons and runs the Koori Coastal Walking Group. She is well known, honored and respected in the community and her programs are used as models for the development of similar programs across NSW.

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