An “overwhelmed” Leonie Morcome returned home with her 2013 Deadly Award for the Health Worker of the Year last week.
Senior Aboriginal Public Health Worker at the Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service in Taree, a proud Leonie won the award due to her tenacious commitment to bettering the lives of countless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, spanning over a 26 year career.
“I’m feeling very rewarded and appreciated for the work that I do in my community, it feels great to receive recognition for all the hard work that I do, and continue to do,” says Leonie.
Winning this award was a highlight of her career and has inspired her to work even harder doing whatever it takes to improve the health of her people.
“I want to go further, so I can be a voice and support for our people – our people need to have a voice when it comes to health,” she says.
“I’m there to help out and to do my job, whatever I need to do to retain their healthy lifestyles and living.”
Leonie started at the Biripi Medical Service when she was only 17 and has since gone on to become an experienced health worker, achieving many professional qualifications including a Diploma in Health Science (Aboriginal Health & Community Development), Cert IV Aboriginal Primary Health and Cert IV Family Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
She instinctively knows the needs of her clientele and has a holistic approach to healthcare, driving many successful programs such as Immunisations, Grief and Loss (funeral support) and a 3on3 Deadly Vibe Basketball and Hip Hop Challenge.
“If I can make a difference in the lives of our people, then I’m feeling very pleased and happy that I’ve supported them,” she says.
Leonie was greeted by a proud family and community upon her return to Taree and says that without all their support none of this would have been possible.
“When I came back, the community was there holding a big banner, clapping for me, tears were flying and it was really good to see my community getting right behind me,” she says.
“My Mum can’t wipe the smile off her face and she’s talking it up everywhere.”