First Aboriginal leadership–based nurse in NSW appointed at Murrumbidgee Local Health District

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The appointment, while made a few weeks ago, coincides with the 2018 NAIDOC Week theme –  ‘Because of Her, We Can’ – for which the hospital hosted a morning tea on Tuesday, July 10.

Ms Damm is based at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital and operates across the local health district, where she provides leadership for cadet nurses of Aboriginal backgrounds.

“The role I’ve been given is to provide a more support for our new cadets coming through and registered nurses across the district, not just at Wagga Base.

“As far Murrumbidgee [Local Health District] goes, that’s how far we’re going,” she said.

Currently, six Aboriginal cadet nurses are under her leadership.

Ms Damm’s role also consists of leading the cadetship program, which involves training that is in addition to university placements.

“The aim is to make sure that there’s help for those nurses to build their resilience in a tough industry,” Ms Damm said.

As she is still early into her role, she said her goal was to be a mentor for others.

The aim is to make sure that there’s help for those nurses to build their resilience in a tough industry.

Angela Damm, clinical nurse specialist in Aboriginal leadership and development

“I look forward to providing a good work environment for the nursing staff who have come onboard.

“It’s about being someone whom they can come to talk with if they’re having any issues,” she said.

Prior to  the appointment, Ms Damm was an assistant in nursing in Tumut before becoming a registered nurse after further studies at CSU Wagga.

The news of Ms Damm’s appointment was welcomed by third-year cadet Georgia Simpson.

The 20-year-old, who won a nursing award in 2017, said “the extra support is very much welcomed”.

As for putting what she has learnt from university into practice, she said it had been positive.

“That’s the best part of it,” Ms Simpson said.

“I’m looking to stay on after the cadetship and do my postgraduate studies here in Wagga,” she said.

Nathaniel Alexander, nurse manager for professional practice and policy for Murrumbidgee LHD, also welcomed the appointment.

“What we want to do is increase Aboriginal leadership and development across the nursing and midwifery workforce.

“Angela’s role is to champion that, so we’re looking to build increased capacity for those two areas.

“It targets the needs we have, so specifically looking at high-risk populations based on national research data,” Mr Alexander said.

Additional 2018 NAIDOC Week events by the Murrumbidgee LHD

  • Lunch at Griffith Base Hospital (foyer): 11.30am on Wednesday, July 11
  • Afternoon tea at Tumut Hospital Solarium: 3pm on Wednesday, July 11
  • Koori Street Market (sports ground, George Street) at Deniliquin: 10am Thursday, July 12.
  • Morning tea at Albury Aboriginal Health (Macauley Street entry): 10.30am on Thursday, July 12.

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