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Bre’s Joseph Gordon wins top health awards

Bre’s Jospeh Gordon has taken out three prestigious awards for his work in Aboriginal health, winning two awards from TAFE NSW and the Emerging Talent Award through the AH&MRC organisation. Photo Maggie Langtry

Brewarrina’s Joseph Gordon has had an astounding two weeks, taking out three major awards - two in the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards, as well as the Emerging Talent Award at the prestigious Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council forum.

Joey has vowed to use the recognition to help ‘close the gap’ in Indigenous children’s ear health and inspire other young Aboriginal people to change their lives through education.

23-year-old Joey is a health worker at the Brewarrina Aboriginal Medical Service, which nominated him for the AH and MRC award.

He has also completed a Diploma of Audiometry through TAFE Digital. His dedication to his studies saw him win two honours at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, and Health, Wellbeing and Community Services Student of the Year.

Joey is a Kamilaroi and Ngemba man and was the only one of eight siblings to complete his HSC and the only HSC student at Brewarrina Central School, which is 98 per cent Aboriginal. He completed a Diploma of Audiometry through TAFE Digital in 2022 as part of an innovative partnership between TAFE NSW and Macquarie University.

He has firsthand experience of the health difficulties facing many youngsters in his community and suffered from middle-ear infections as a child. He said he plans to take the skills and knowledge learned at TAFE NSW to lead a project screening local Aboriginal children and educating their families about treating the condition.

Aboriginal children suffer from ear infections at nearly 10 times the rate of non-Indigenous children.

“As someone who grew up with hearing issues, it’s incredible to be able to go back into local schools and give them information that I would’ve benefited from at that age,” Mr Gordon said.

“I don’t want Aboriginal people to be the face of sickness, I’d rather we be the face of education. We are so much more than just our chronic diseases.” […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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