NACCHO Deadly Health worker awards :And the winner is Leonie Morcome – Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service



The chair of NACCHO Justin Mohamed and the CEO Lisa Briggs would like to congratulate Leonie Morcome on winning the Deadly Health Worker Award and also congratulate all the nominees as list below.

You are all too deadly!



WINNER: Leonie Morcome – Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service

Leonie Morcome has been a committed Aboriginal Health Worker at the Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service for almost 26 years and has played a large role in the development of the organisation.

She has achieved many professional qualifications in her many years at the service, including a Diploma Health Science (Aboriginal Health & Community Development), Cert IV Aboriginal Primary Health, and Cert IV Family Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Leonie has also driven many successful programs, such as Immunisations, Grief and Loss (funeral support), 3on3 Deadly Vibe Basketball and Hip Hop Challenge, and cultural camps and workshops. She has a holistic approach to Aboriginal health care and instinctively understands the needs of her clients

Here is her recent interview with DEADLY VIBE

Leonie Morcome is one of the nominees who have worked tirelessly for a quarter of a century to improve the health of her people. She says she’s ‘blown away’ and ‘overwhelmed’ to be a finalist.

She currently works with the Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service in Taree, NSW.

“It makes me feel very much supported within my community to get nominated for this award,” she says.

“I really appreciate being nominated and if I don’t win I’m still a winner by being a part of this in the first place. The challenges we face in the community inspire me to go forward for our people and continue to do the work that I do.”

Leonie has a holistic approach to Aboriginal health care and understands the needs of her clients resulting in her driving many successful programs including – Grief and Loss (funeral support), Immunisation, Primary School Health Program, and cultural camps/workshops.

She has been described by people as a hero because she inspires others to be their very best.

“She believes with everything she is that we as Aboriginal people deserve good, healthy lives, and she is determined to do everything she can in her short time on this earth to close that gap, and make life better for us, even if it’s just one day at a time,” says Biripi AMS, Bringing Them Home Counsellor, Raylene Newell.

She says that wouldn’t be where she is today without the continued support from her family and community, especially her mother.

Other nominees

Alice Tayley – Wujal Wujal Primary Health Care Centre

Alice Tayley is an Advanced Health Worker at the Wujal Wujal Primary Health Care Centre in Queensland. She has been a devoted health worker for almost 30 years.

Alice specialises in Child Health and Rheumatic Heart Disease and has many related professional qualifications, from Children & Domestic Violence (RAATSIC) to Mental Health Emergencies (MHFA).

Through her career she has simultaneously raised a family and maintained her work responsibilities. During her career as a Health Worker, Alice has lived through many changes – social, political, geographical, personal, departmental – and continues to successfully adapt to this.

This 2011 Deadlys Health Worker of the Year finalist strives to better the lives of her people and continues to contribute to her community and focus on achieving better health outcomes

Jenny Poelina – KAMSC

Nykina woman, Jenny Poelina has worked in the field of Aboriginal Health since the mid ’70s and has worked diligently for the betterment of our people’s health. She worked in clinics and program areas and co-ordinated remote area clinics under the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council (KAMSC).

She has been involved in training Aboriginal Health Workers since 1987 as a guest lecturer and has been the co-ordinator for the Aboriginal Health Worker training program and other training programs for the past six years.

Jenny is currently employed by KAMSC Inc. as the Senior Manager for the Centre for Aboriginal Primary Health Care Training, Education & Research (CAPTER) unit. The unit consists of, AHW training, medical student training (UWA/NDU Rural Clinical School), GP training, Advanced Skills GP training & Research.

Kay Mundraby – Kambu Medical Centre

Yarrabah woman Kay Mundraby has been a dedicated Aboriginal Health Worker for more than 24 years at the Kambu Medical Centre in Ipswich and has served in many roles. Aunty Kay has been responsible for a very successful Diabetes Support Program and is committed to her clients within the Ipswich and West Moreton Region.

Kay has contributed to a number of statewide initiatives through various consultative forums, including the Qld Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fruit and Vegetable Social Marketing Campaign and recently a Diabetes Qld Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diabetes resource.

In 2012 Kay was inducted into the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) Hall of Fame and is considered a ‘specialist’ when it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Marian Hill – Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service

Marian Hill started working at the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service (DYHS) as a cleaner, but as a single mother and sole income earner she took it upon herself to become an Aboriginal Health Worker (AHW).

After finishing her studies in Aboriginal Health she later excelled in co-ordinating the Ear and Eye Health Program, providing screening and education in the schools and community and also to prac students who are currently studying.

Marian also works closely with Australian Hearing and ENT specialists in fast tracking children who need medical treatment.

In October 2012 Marian gained AHW Practitioner status and is the first registered AHW in Western Australia and the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service.


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