Huge health win for Torres Strait health practitioner

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Badu Island Cluster Coordinator George Morseau with his awards

Badu Island Cluster Coordinator George Morseau with his awards

Summary

  • Cluster Coordinator on Badu Island wins both the Individual Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Promoting Wellbeing categories in the 2022 Queensland Health and Department of Health Awards for Excellence.
  • Director of Nursing for the Nurse/Midwifery awarded a Highly Commended in the Individual Award for Outstanding Achievement and a finalist in the Delivering Healthcare category.

George Morseau, who is a Cluster Coordinator on Badu Island, won both the Individual Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Promoting Wellbeing categories in the 2022 Queensland Health and Department of Health Awards for Excellence which was held on Friday.

George is a proud Badulaig man whose connection to Badu Island is through his mother and totem is Thupmul (stingray). He also has connections through his father to Murray Island.

He has been with Queensland Health for more than 25 years and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner since 2016.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Beverley Hamerton said George emerged as a leader during the vaccination rollout, initially in his island cluster which includes Boigu, Dauan and Saibai Islands, before he was seconded south to support efforts in Cape York.

“George led community engagement efforts by offering vaccinations in an appropriate way for each community,” she said.

“He initiated continual community outreach, offering vaccinations in convenient and culturally appropriate locations, providing after hours outreach and ensuring that male and female teams were available as necessary.

“George paid careful attention to building the cultural capacity of his team, guiding them in the best way to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to the Torres and Cape First Nations communities.

“Beyond COVID he continues to be a strong advocate for pathways to allow more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to pursue careers in healthcare - both by leading by example and supporting those around him.

“We are incredibly proud of George for his efforts to keep our region safe and for this well- deserved acknowledgement.”

The awards ceremony was held virtually this year and George watched it surrounded by colleagues on Badu Island.

He said he was shocked and honoured by his win.

“The vaccination rollout in the Torres and Cape was an incredible team effort and one that I was proud to be a part of,” he said.

“I would like to thank my family, my colleagues and Queensland Health for all their support, and I hope this award highlights the challenges we have faced and conquered together during the pandemic.

“Our hard work is not over though, and we must continue to urge the community to get vaccinated, including their booster doses, to protect themselves, their families and our beautiful communities up here in the Torres Strait and Cape York.”

Ms Hamerton said she also wanted to pay tribute to Director of Nursing for the Nurse/Midwifery Navigation program Rachel Sargeant who awarded a Highly Commended in the Individual Award for Outstanding Achievement and was a finalist in the Delivering Healthcare category.

This category awards efforts of improving access to quality and safe healthcare in its different forms and setting.