National recognition for Hospitals Aboriginal Community Reference Group Member
Di Ryder, a member of St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals’ Aboriginal Community Reference Group, has earned national recognition for her commitment to improving the lives of indigenous people.
Di, a Noongar Elder, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent National NAIDOC Awards in recognition of her contribution to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities across Australia, particularly in Perth and Midland.
“One of my proudest achievements is running the Swan Aboriginal Community Christmas Party, which is run entirely by volunteers and last year saw more than 900 people come together as a community at Midvale Oval,” Di said.
“This event is where I see and where everyone can feel a real sense of reconciliation.”
Di, who worked for 21 years in the Australian Army, was recognised for her role as President of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Association of WA, as a community outreach worker and for her commitment to the Swan Alliance’s Communities for Children initiative.
Di said being part of the St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals’ Aboriginal Community Reference Group was a continuation of her ongoing commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people living in Midland.
“This stems from my involvement with Moort Boodjari Mia, which is now based at the hospital and supports young Aboriginal women during their pregnancy. The service makes a huge difference to the lives of the women and their families,” she said.
“For me, getting the right assistance for young Aboriginal mums means the kids will have the right start in life and it is wonderful to see this program continuing and supported at the hospital.”
St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals Director of Aboriginal Health Christine Clinch said it was fantastic to see Di’s commitment and work recognised at the national level.
“I congratulate Di on her achievements and it is great to see her recognised for the important work she has done and continues to do in Midland and beyond,” Christine said.
“Di’s experience, knowledge and leadership is truly valued at a hospital and we are extremely privileged to have her on our Aboriginal Community Reference Group where she is helping enhance connections between the hospital and the local Aboriginal community.”
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