Gail is Nurse of the Year in the 2018 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards, recognised for her outstanding work in improving and advocating for better delivery of health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Western Australia.
Faced with institutional racism, discrimination and adversity, Aboriginal nurse Gail Yarran defied all odds to earn her tertiary nursing qualification. This journey commenced 50 years ago with initial registration as an enrolled nurse and then completion of a tertiary qualification as a registered nurse as her career progressed. Since then she has dedicated her life to improving and advocating for better delivery of health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Western Australia.
From beginnings in the small-town setting of Quairading in WA Gail has proven herself a health care leader, with her dedication to helping others cementing her as an ambassador for Indigenous health, and as an integral part of the Western Australian health care system. A Noongar woman, from the Balladong and Wadjak peoples, Gail takes every opportunity to raise awareness of the health issues impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Gail has dedicated her career to making, and advocating for, substantial improvements to the way in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients are treated.
Gail’s passion has led her to initiate an impressive breadth of work which includes holding multiple advisory roles, as well as developing clinical research projects and pilot programs designed to meet the specific needs of Indigenous patients. Most notable, however, is Gail’s collective impact which spans from consulting with GPs and health service providers to contributing to the development and implementation of health programs that have contributed to better health service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.