Purple House CEO Sarah Brown as been awarded HESTA Australia’s Nurse of the Year for 2017.
As the Northern Territory’s only entrant in the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards, Sarah has run Purple House since 2003, after many years working as a registered nurse out bush.
What started in her living room, Purple House now employs 50 people and runs eight remote dialysis clinics the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
“The services we provide mean that people can live in their remote communities and receive dialysis treatment on-country,” Sarah said.
In classic Sarah Brown style, Sarah did not prepare an acceptance speech, saying being the centre of attention at a national awards ceremony was her worst nightmare.
“I don’t drink, I don’t like fuss, I don’t wear makeup or dress in high-heel shoes, I can’t dance,” Ms Brown said.
“But to win this award and bring it back to the Territory is fantastic. It’s about Aboriginal people finding their own solutions to their health issues,” she said.
“You can’t teach your grandkids about culture via Skype, or from a hospital bed in Alice Springs,” Sarah said. “It is a real tangible threat to cultural continuity.”
The $10,000 prize money will be used to expand services into remote South Australia.