Graphic: Wiluna local and young Martu woman wins for community

Royal Flying Doctor Service Regional Service Award 2019 winner announced

Date published

27 May 2019
GM Craig Spencer with Joella Ashwin

A 27-year-old Martu woman and rural nurse from Wiluna, a remote town in the Mid West region of Western Australia, has been announced as the recipient of the 2019 Royal Flying Doctor Service Regional Service Award. 

Joella Ashwin, an enrolled nurse and acting practice manager at the Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Service (NAHS), was recognised for her vital role in building positive and trusting relationships within the Martu community to boost health outcomes. 

Dubbed a vital link between the community and the health services provided by NAHS, Joella works very closely with her colleagues and the community to ensure young Martu children and their mothers receive ongoing and critical health care.

Joella is also the first young Martu to attend university to study nursing and graduate and she has been hailed an inspirational and positive role model for young Martu girls living in Wiluna. 

RFDS General Manager of Strategy and Performance Craig Spencer presented Joella the award at the 2019 Seven News Young Achiever Awards on Saturday, May 25 at Pan Pacific Hotel. 

“We’re so proud to present this award to Joella in recognition of the impact she has in creating change and outcomes in her community,” Mr Spencer said. 

“Here at the RFDS, our crews work hand-in-hand with rural nurses on a daily basis to ensure people living in rural and remote communities across Western Australia have access to essential healthcare. 

“We know first-hand the importance of having a dedicated and exceptional nurse like Joella on the ground who goes above and beyond in her duties to spread awareness and promote good health. 

“Above all, especially as we mark National Reconciliation Week, this award recognises the pivotal role Indigenous health professionals, like Joella, play in achieving health equity across Western Australia.”