Jul 04, 2023
Inspired by her mother, who serves as a Grandmother Aboriginal Liaison Officer or ‘Nan’, Tina Garlett was one of Ramsay Health Care’s first three Aboriginal Liaison Officers (ALO) when the inaugural team was established at Joondalup Health Campus in 2019.
Born in Middle Swan, Western Australia, Tina is a Noongar woman from Balladong (Tammin) and Wadjak (Perth) on her father’s side and on her mother’s side she is Yamitji from (Yungunga-Nya) Cue.
Since completing her Assistant in Nursing studies, Tina now works to provide emotional, social and cultural support to Aboriginal patients and their families, ensuring they achieve the best possible health outcomes.
“I wanted to work in the health sector and care for patients, and it was a bonus to be able to work within my community.”
Tina explained that ALOs play a crucial role in the healthcare system by facilitating effective communication, cultural understanding, and trust between healthcare providers and Aboriginal patients.
“You need to know how to work with our own mob and have an understanding of the struggles Aboriginal patients may face. Showing respect and also love and care,” said Tina.
“We facilitate a two-way understanding of the need to balance cultural needs with holistic health care by acting as a cultural advocate between Aboriginal patients and health staff.
“We deliver cultural education, provide advice to the hospital executive team, clinical and support staff. We work closely with the social work team to provide a culturally safe service for vulnerable patients.
“We also ensure patients are engaged in the communication of health information, discharge planning and future care planning.”
Tina has taken advantage of Ramsay’s many development opportunities during her four years at Ramsay, completing her Mental Health First Aid training, supporting the Marr Mooditj cadetship program and attending networking and training events.
“After seeing how effectively I can liaise with staff and have our Aboriginal patient voices be heard, I know that I’m working in the right position. I feel like I make a real difference every day.”