Graduating cadets boost Western NSW Local Health District’s Aboriginal workforce

Four NSW Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Cadets at Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) have completed their training and taken up ongoing positions across the District.

Minister for Regional Health Ryan Park welcomed the four new staff as an important boost to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce in NSW.

“I’m really pleased the NSW Health Aboriginal Nursing Cadetship Program continues to see more and more graduates, ultimately leading to improved health services for Aboriginal communities,” Mr Park said.

“As Regional Health Minister, two of my key focus areas is building up our regional workforce and improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This program delivers on both.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said initiatives like the cadetship program are an important part of closing the gap.

“The cadetship program shows the NSW Government’s commitment to closing the gap in health outcomes,” Mr Harris said. 

“We know for health outcomes to improve, Aboriginal people need Aboriginal nurses working in hospitals, community and senior management positions and this group of graduates will play a vital role in caring for our communities.”

Jackie Corliss, WNSWLHD Graduate Programs and Traineeship Manager, said the NSW Health Aboriginal Nursing Cadetship Program aims to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses across the state, and improve health services for Aboriginal communities. 

“We currently have nine Aboriginal cadets across our District and four cadets are graduating from the program,” Ms Corliss said

“The program is designed to financially assist Aboriginal Nursing Cadets during their study, while also providing academic assistance and supporting their transition into the workplace. 

“We’re delighted to have offered these cadets ongoing employment within the District as graduates.”

Tony Martin, WNSWLHD Executive Director Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, said the initiative aligns with the District’s Reconciliation Action Plan, launched last year with a commitment to increase the Aboriginal workforce. 

“Providing career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the field of nursing can make a significant positive impact on the health of our Aboriginal communities,” Mr Martin said.

The benefits of the cadetship program include 12 weeks paid employment in the clinical setting in addition to the clinical experience and knowledge gained as undergraduate nursing students, enhanced job readiness and support from the District’s staff including an Aboriginal mentor. 

The four graduates will be taking up positions in Bathurst, Cobar, Mudgee and Dubbo this year, while the remaining five cadets are expected to complete their training over the next couple of years. 

WSNWLHD is also in the process of recruiting a further four cadets to start later this year. Apply here: NSW Health Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Cadetship Program – Nursing and midwifery scholarships.​​

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