In an emergency, always call triple zero (000). It’s a free call from any phone, mobile or phone box.

For other urgent medical issues, go to an Emergency Department.

Our Emergency Departments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

Working in Aboriginal health is an opportunity to make a real difference for the health of our community, while experiencing the uniqueness and diversity of Aboriginal culture. Play a role to reduce health inequalities experienced by Aboriginal people and be challenged to utilise the full breadth of your experience and elevate your skills.

You will be supported by a committed and passionate team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health professionals driven to closing the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal people. 

Aboriginal Health team photo

Explore current career opportunities in Aboriginal Health in Northern NSW. 

Staff Highlights  

Mahaila Daley & Tiarna Brown – Cadetship Graduates

Mahaila Daley and Tiarna Brown are Grafton Base Hospital’s newest Aboriginal Nursing cadetship graduates.

Now working as a Registered Nurse in emergency, Mahaila said the cadetship set her up for success, helping her to complete her studies.

“Becoming a cadet allowed for more education and support whilst studying for my Bachelor of Nursing,” Mahaila said.

“I gained more confidence in my clinical skills on the wards, and as a bonus my uni grades improved. I can’t rate the cadetship program enough!”

“You get to learn something new each day. I love to chat as well, so I enjoy hearing about people’s life stories. I feel like I’m making a difference being a nurse.”

Tiarna Brown is now a Registered Nurse working in Surgical Services.

“I was born in Grafton, a local Bundjalung gal and lived here till I was 25. Then I moved to Armidale to become a preschool teacher but found it was not for me, so I moved back to Grafton and started my nursing career and loved it!

“Getting the cadetship helped me so much, making me feel confident in approaching the wards and getting familiar with my peers.”

Tiarna really enjoys helping her patients feel safe and comfortable in hospital, particularly Aboriginal patients.

“Having the acknowledgment of an Aboriginal person in the hospital setting assisted when a patient identified as Aboriginal, since I could make them feel more comfortable and educate the staff on their needs.”

“I am such a people person and love a chat, so I also like getting to know my patients and finding things in common. I had a goal to become a RN before I turned 30 and I have achieved this which makes me so proud,” Tiarna said.

Tiarna BrownMahaila Daley

Lauren McDonald
Lauren McDonald
"Take every opportunity, nothing can go wrong!"

Lauren McDonald is one of the first students to complete a new Aboriginal Allied Health Assistant traineeship, and she’s not looking back. 

“I’ve grown up around the health environment my whole life,” Lauren says. 

With her mum working in disability, her nan and aunties being nurses, and a cousin who just got a Masters in Midwifery, Lauren has had great role models who’ve worked in health. 

Lauren was born at Lismore Base Hospital, but her family is from the Weilwan and Wiradjuri mobs near the towns of Warren and Dubbo in central NSW. She grew up in Lismore and just finished her HSC. 

Not one to rest, at the same time of doing years 11 and 12, Lauren also completed a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistant with TAFE NSW as part of the school-based trainee program. 

During year 11, she worked one day a week at the Lismore Community Health Carroll Centre site at St Vincent’s Hospital and enjoyed it so much she gradually worked up to three days a week during year 12. 

Lauren later moved across to Goonellabah Child and Family Health Centre, where she got to work with younger clients from infants and young children. 

Her original supervisor was a physiotherapist, and she’s worked closely with occupational therapists, nutritionists and speech pathologists as well.

“I never would have thought that I would have gotten the opportunity to do this traineeship,” Lauren said.  

“The teamwork that’s involved in Allied Health, it’s such a big aspect and there are so many pathways. It’s so good getting to learn so many different areas. I didn’t think I’d be working with so many different allied health professionals during my traineeship; it’s been a really good experience.”

Now she’s almost finished, Lauren has applied for a Bachelor of Nursing, with a plan to go into midwifery.

“I’ve heard my cousin talking about midwifery, so I’d really love to work as a midwife or an occupational therapist."

Lauren is enthusiastic about the opportunities the traineeship is providing and has become an ambassador of sorts among her peers. 

“I feel in a way it’s influenced a lot of the other Aboriginal students, even at other local schools. Some of my sister’s friends have asked me about it and are wanting to get into nursing."

“It’s been good telling them about my experiences in health, for them to then go on and choose what they want to do."

“Nothing can go wrong, you’re adding to your skillset, you learn a lot.”  

Scholarships, Cadetships and Traineeships

Aboriginal Allied Health Scholarships

Aboriginal Rural Allied Health University Student Scholarships

Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Scholarships & Cadetships

NSW Health Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Cadetship Program

NSW Health Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Undergraduate Scholarships

NSW Health Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Postgraduate Scholarships

Enrolled Nurse Scholarships

Rhodanthe Lipsett Midwifery Postgraduate Scholarship


Interested in a traineeship pathway? For more information contact:

Estelle Walker

Project Officer

E: Estelle.Walker@health.nsw.gov.au

P: 02 6620 7452


Northern NSW Local Health District is committed to reconciliation and improving health outcomes for Aboriginal people. View the NNSWLHD Reconciliation Action Plan to learn more.

You can access free resources to help get you on the right career path:

Explore current career opportunities in Aboriginal Health in Northern NSW. 


Cameron Johnson
Aboriginal Workforce Manager
E: Cameron.Johnson@health.nsw.gov.au
P: 02 6629 4383


Other related pages: 
Working in Northern NSW 
Rural Health Workforce Incentive Scheme 
Employee Benefits
Our People