On Friday, general practice training provider GP Synergy proudly announced Uncle Grahame Skinner as the inaugural winner of the Aunty Val Dahlstrom Award for Aboriginal Health Excellence at a presentation in Ballina.
Doctors training to become specialist GPs have benefitted from Uncle Grahame’s knowledge, passion and willingness to share Aboriginal culture, particularly that of Bundjalung and Gunbayngirr countries his mother and father’s homelands.
“I had goosebumps when I found out, it’s such a significant honour,” he said.
“Having worked for many, many years with Aunty Val for Aboriginal people and Aboriginal health, we had some great debates, but we always came together to try and achieve better outcomes.
After working in the health field for decades Uncle Grahame has recently retired and has had time to reflect on his career.
“One of my proudest achievements was becoming a mentor for members of GP Synergy’s Aboriginal Cultural Education Unit.
“I was always happy for the team to seek my advice about culture, and I felt their reciprocation through the respect they showed,” he said.
Mrs Georgina van de Water, CEO of GP Synergy, said training doctors to better understand Aboriginal culture is essential to ensuring better healthcare for Aboriginal people.
“GP Synergy is committed to supporting doctors in training as a means to help close the gap between health outcomes for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians,” Mrs van de Water said.
“The award pays tribute to Aunty Val, who had a long-standing role in GP training prior to joining GP Synergy in 2009 as the organisation’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer.
“Uncle Grahame has played a pivotal role in the delivery of cultural education to many GP in training.
“GP Synergy is delighted to be able to present the Aunty Val Dahlstrom Award for Aboriginal Health Excellence (NSW/ACT) in recognition of his commitment to excellence in Aboriginal health,” she said.
For more information please contact:
Kerryn Stephens | Media and Communications Officer