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Meet new CRANAplus Board Member, Naomi Zaro
At the CRANAplus Annual General Meeting in October, Naomi Zaro was voted in as the organisation’s newest Board Member. A proud Torres Strait Islander woman, Ms Zaro is eager to support the implementation of the CRANAplus First Peoples’ Strategy.
Aboriginal Health Practitioner Naomi Zaro happened to turn on her computer while working in a remote NT community, to discover she’d just been welcomed as the newest member on the CRANAplus Board. Within minutes, Naomi was attending a special Board meeting and getting to know her fellow Board members online.
“I am going to enjoy being able to contribute to the direction that CRANAplus is heading in relation to the First Peoples’ Strategy,” says Naomi, a proud Torres Strait Islander woman, a descendant of the Meriam people in the eastern Torres Straits, from the Dauar tribe.
Encouraging increased recognition of the roles of Aboriginal Health Practitioners (AHPs), especially in remote communities, is close
to Naomi’s heart, having worked in this area herself for 10 years.
“I feel that I can contribute to the organisation’s First Peoples’ Strategy focus,” says Naomi, whose Board duties are now added to her existing responsibilities.
Originally from Kalgoorlie in WA, Naomi has worked for the past 18 months as an AHP for Sunrise Health Service, based in Katherine in the NT, and is about to complete her Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice. Naomi also has two children and four grandchildren.
“AHPs and RANs complement each other in providing a client-focussed service in communities,” says Naomi.
She identifies the continuity of care offered by Aboriginal Health Practitioners working in their own communities as the most important aspect.
“It’s wonderful to go into these communities and meet clients and see the rapport they have with the AHPs, knowing they are reassured because they are able to see the same person; not having to repeat themselves over and over again.”
“The AHPs, along with Indigenous staff in the centres, are also a fountain of knowledge for the other clinicians when it comes to cultural awareness,” says Naomi.
“The truth is – you don’t know what you don’t know. And they love to share their knowledge.”
Naomi, who hails from desert country in WA, adds that she particularly likes visiting the nine different communities in the NT that her organisation services, travelling on outback roads, witnessing the wildlife and the colours of the landscape.
She has already clocked up three years of Board experience as the WA Director to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association from 2016 to 2019.
Naomi is looking forward to networking with her fellow Board members and getting involved in learning and sharing knowledge and experience with remote clinicians.
Get to know all CRANAplus Board Members on the Our People page.