2017 IAHA National Indigenous Allied Health Awards

The 2017 National Indigenous Allied Health Awards was held in conjunction with the IAHA National Gala Dinner. The Awards recognise the contribution of IAHA members make in improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The night began with a beautiful and heartfelt Welcome to Country by Whudjuk elder Nigel Wilkes before he and the Mungart Yonga Traditional Dance Group shared their stories and dances with delegates.

To see the full list of award winners, click here.

IAHA would like to thank the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Association for supporting our Gala Dinner, with a special and much-appreciated performance by The Merindas.

Karl Briscoe, NATSIHWA CEO, offered a passionate address highlighting the importance of working together to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.


Congratulations to our 2017 IAHA National Indigenous Allied Health Award Winners! 

L-R: Nicole Turner (IAHA Chairperson), Mick Gooda (Lifetime Achievement Award), Celeste Brand (Indigenous Allied Health Inspiration Award), Robyn Williams (Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Award), Kirsty Nichols (Commitment to Indigenous Health Award), Prof. Gregory Phillips (Indigenous Allied Health Professional of the Year Award), Michale Chandler (Future Leader in Indigenous Allied Health Award), Ash Wright (Indigenous Allied Health Student Academic Achievement Award), Donna Murray (IAHA CEO). 


IAHA Lifetime Achievement Award – Mick Gooda

Mick Gooda is a descendent of the Gangulu people of Central Queensland. He is well known in Indigenous affairs throughout Australia, having advocated and represented on behalf of Aboriginal people for the last 25 years. Mick possesses extensive experience working in remote, rural and urban environments, and has knowledge of the diversity of circumstance and cultural nuances of Indigenous peoples throughout Australia.

Mick Gooda is a former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and served as a Commissioner of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. 

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Indigenous Allied Health Student Academic Achievement Award – Ash Wright

Ash is in her final 2 years of study with Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) with a distinction average. Ash has worked as a volunteer in her community transporting Elders to doctors and shopping. She dances as part of a Koori women’s group and attends many gatherings doing clearings. She has helped a local elder for 2 years to get a plaque at the mission where she was taken to acknowledge it was there and let us all heal.

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Indigenous Allied Health Inspiration Award – Celeste Brand

Celeste Brand is an Eastern Arrernte/Arabana woman, born and raised on Arrernte country in Alice Springs. She joined IAHA in 2014 as a second year Social Work student studying a Bachelor of Social Work at Curtin University in Perth. Celeste participated in multiple professional development opportunities and was a member of the IAHA Student Representative Committee in 2015 until the end of 2016 when she graduated. She is now working as a Social Worker in Alice Springs.

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Commitment to Indigenous Health Award – Kirsty Nichols

Kirsty is proud of her Muran, Wurrumangu and Kungarakun heritage. Kirsty’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can be seen through her engagement with her national networks, mentoring and contributions to community.

Kirsty has been an active member of IAHA since joining in 2014 volunteering at IAHA Stalls, committees and mentoring program. She continues to value add and contribute to IAHA priorities freely and has participated in the HFTC over the past three years. She also serves on the Board of Management for Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin. Kirsty is an inspirational leader and role model for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, students, her family and her community.

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Indigenous Allied Health Professional of the Year Award – Associate Professor Gregory Phillips 

Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru Aboriginal Australian peoples, and comes from Cloncurry and Mount Isa.

He is a medical anthropologist, has a PhD in psychology (‘Dancing With Power: Aboriginal Health, Cultural Safety and Medical Education’), a research master’s degree in medical science (‘Addictions and Healing in Aboriginal Country’; published as a book in 2003), and a bachelor degree in arts (Aboriginal Studies and Government majors).

Gregory has twenty years work experience in healing, alcohol and other drugs, youth empowerment, medical education and health workforce.

He developed an accredited Indigenous health curriculum for all medical schools in Australia and New Zealand, founded the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, and co-wrote a national Indigenous health workforce strategy. He established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation Ltd in the wake of the federal apology to Indigenous Australians, has advised federal ministers on Indigenous health inequality, and was honoured in 2011 with an ADC Australian Leadership Forum Award. Gregory is currently Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting, and an Associate Professor and Research Fellow at The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

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