2016 Australian of the Year (Western Australia) Medical warrior
From: Western Australia
Anne Maria Carey, born in Dublin in 1958, moved with her large Irish Family to Australia in 1969. Left school at 14 and after 6 years in the workforce joined a missionary order. Studied nursing and midwifery before going to PNG where she ran a remote hospital in a poor rural district of PNG. After 18 years in the order left to work in health care in remote areas of Australia interleaved with Red Cross Missions in war zones overseas and completing her Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She was a member of the Red Cross team that stayed in Gereida Sudan. Gereida was the world’s largest refugee camp and had come under armed attack. All the other agencies including UN abandoned the camp. Subsequent focus of world attention on the plight of the refugees and the Red Cross workers prevented subsequent attacks. More recently Anne Carey became involved in the running of the Red Cross Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone. She was there at the height of the epidemic through to the recovery phase. She received the Pride of Australia Care and Compassion Award 2015 and is the 2016 WA Australian of the Year. The Guiding principal by which Anne tries to live is to have the courage to be kind. Currently as the Western Australian of the year it is Anne’s intention to channel the same energy that she used to tackle the bully Ebola with to raise awareness and tackle bullying in the health workforce and unkind treatment of refugees. Anne resides in Esperance with Donald (a doctor) and Rusty (a dog).
I intend to use this year 2016, as WA Australian of the Year to raise awareness of a debilitating condition in our healthcare system.
The positive experience of the world threat to Ebola being conquered through courage and teamwork and the experience of the effects of workplace bullying on myself and a number of my respected nursing colleagues, are directing my use of this year.
I am asking people to have the courage to stand up to fear and bullies and create a kinder, safer workplace for our health professionals which in turn will create a safer, more caring place for patients.