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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    Minister congratulates a Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan founder on her 90th birthday celebrations

    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    Minister congratulates a Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan founder on her 90th birthday celebrations

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Partnerships Jackie Trad has paid tribute to Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Rose Richards, who celebrates her 90th birthday this week.

    The Deputy Premier said Aunty Rose was a proud Kuku Yalanji and Tagalaka Elder from Far North Queensland and an inspirational leader for people across the health system.

    “Aunty Rose has made a significant contribution to improving health services and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Far North Queensland,” Ms Trad said.

    “Three decades ago, Aunty Rose was the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Hospital Liaison Officer at Cairns Hospital where she helped shape a better local health system by ensuring Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander patients had access to culturally safe care. 

    “Today, there are more than 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Hospital Liaison Officers in Queensland who form an essential part of today’s health workforce.”

    Aunty Rose recognised the unique challenges faced by First Nations people who had to leave their communities and families in Cape York and the Torres Strait to travel to Cairns for medical treatment.

    Passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of babies, young children and mothers, Aunty Rose, her sister Aunty Esme Hudson and Aunty Bonnie Simpson began taking expectant and new mums into their homes and giving them culturally safe accommodation and care.

    In 1983, Aunty Rose, Aunty Esme and Aunty Bonnie established the ‘Rosie’s Farm’ facility with the assistance of local Aboriginal leaders.

    In 2010, a custom-designed facility—Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan, meaning ‘Aunty Rosie’s place’—was developed, becoming Far North Queensland’s only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s accommodation service run and staffed by First Nations women.

    “Aunty Rose is widely known for defying the odds—she fought tirelessly to achieve culturally safe services at a time when it wasn’t easy to bring about positive change in service delivery culture,” Ms Trad said.

    “Today, Queensland’s health system recognises and values the importance of delivering culturally appropriate health care to help achieve health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities.

    “Aunty Rose continues to inspire her community and to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to enter the health workforce and I congratulate and thank her.”

    Media contact: Daniel Lato 0438 891 158