Nurse of the Year motivates at Acacia Prison Naidoc Week event in Wooroloo

Dancers at Acacia Prison perform traditional dances for Naidoc celebrations.
Dancers at Acacia Prison perform traditional dances for Naidoc celebrations.

HESTA Nurse of the Year Gail Yarran was given a standing ovation by inmates celebrating Naidoc Week at Acacia Prison in Wooroloo.

More than 50 prisoners gathered to hear the award winner’s motivational talk on this year’s theme ‘Because of Her, We Can’.

At just eight years old, she was told she could never be a nurse because of her skin colour.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science, became a registered nurse and has spent more than 50 years advocating for better health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across WA.

The Noongar woman from the Whadjuk and Ballardong sits on the King Edward Memorial Hospital community advisory council and works in maternal and child health at Derbarl Yerrigan in East Perth.

Acacia’s Naidoc celebration on Wednesday led by prisoners began with a Welcome to Country and featured traditional ceremonial dances.

Men from the young offender’s block held an art competition and Adam Cockie and Steve Hargrave from the WAFL Commission collected hand-painted footballs to represent each WAFL club.

Other celebrations featured a roo tail cook up, sports competitions, karaoke and a quiz.

Prison director Dave Thompson presented the annual Naidoc awards and a didgeridoo player closed the event.