She walks in two worlds. She’s a proud spiritual Nyoongar woman and a highly qualified nursing professional. She speaks the language of an ancient culture and the vernacular of modern medicine – and doing so bridges the ugly gap of our cultural divide. Meet Vicki Wade; the 2019 recipient of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association Sidney Sax Medal, awarded for outstanding contribution to the development and improvement of the Australian healthcare system.
In this feature length edition of Australian Health Journal, Vicki Wade receives her award at a AHHA Sidney Sax Dinner event on 2nd September 2019, where AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven, AHHA Board Chair Adrian Pennington and Vicki’s former manager, Dr Rob Grenfell talk about Vicki’s impact through her tireless work.
With gentleness and generosity, Vicki shares with Anne Dao from Australian Health Journal her passion for ‘fixing broken hearts’ and how with little support and much discrimination, she became leader of the National Aboriginal Health Unit at the Heart Foundation. Specialising in rheumatic heart disease, Vicki comes from four generations of healers and believes applying cultural knowledge to western health practices is the magic ingredient for improving the heart health of our Aboriginal peoples. Today she is the Senior Cultural Advisor for RHDAustralia part of Menzies School of Health Research.