Indigenous midwife and Central Arrernte woman Cherisse Buzzacott has been named Australian Catholic University’s (ACU’s) 2016 Alumni of the Year.
Ms Buzzacott was the first student to graduate from ACU’s Away from Base Bachelor of Midwifery (Indigenous) program.
She is passionate about improving outcomes for Indigenous women and their babies, and works primarily as a midwife at Alice Springs Hospital.
Ms Buzzacott is also an outreach midwife in the remote Warlpiri community of Yuendumu where she provides culturally respectful antenatal and postnatal care in the health centre.
Yuendumu, 350km north-west of Alice Springs, is one of the biggest Indigenous communities in central Australia.
She was the Northern Territory Young Achiever Health and Wellbeing Award winner in 2015 for her achievements in midwifery.
Ms Buzzacott received her latest award from ACU Vice-Chancellor Greg Craven at a ceremony in Melbourne on November 10.
ACU introduced the Alumni Awards in 2015 as part of the University’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
The awards recognise achievements among the 85,000-strong alumni community.
Ms Buzzacott was also awarded the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Award for a graduate who has made an outstanding contribution to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and helped strengthen cultural connections respecting traditional rights, values and cultural heritage.
Professor Craven said the winners in all five award categories demonstrated a deep commitment to producing real change in communities.
“We are inspired by their leadership and honour them as role models within the ACU community and across the world,” he said.