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Head start for indigenous nurses

Two indigenous nursing undergraduates have completed a cadetship at Latrobe Regional Hospital providing them with paid shifts while they study. 

Sally Ladyman and Katie Yeomans joined the hospital’s Aboriginal Nursing Cadetship Program in January. The program is in its second year and offers extra clinical experience to indigenous undergraduates through 40 paid shifts. 

Sally has been juggling study at Federation University and work at LRH with raising six children under the age of 16. Her children and friends have pitched in to help her fulfil a lifelong dream. 

“My grandmother was a nurse in the war and I’ve always wanted to be a nurse but didn’t have an opportunity,” Sally said. 

Eventually she decided to take the plunge into study and completed a Certificate 4 in Health Science at TAFE before starting uni. 

Katie however, has turned to nursing after working for many years as an Aboriginal community health worker and an Allied Health Assistant. 

She said the practical experience at LRH has helped with her studies at Deakin University. 

“It’s definitely an advantage. We might be studying something in particular at uni and I’ve already seen how it works in a hospital, so the program at LRH has really helped,” Katie said. 

As part of the cadetship program, Sally and Katie were able to attend the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) conference in Darwin. 

“That was just an amazing opportunity,” Sally said. “To be in a room with other students and health professionals and hearing what is possible was pretty inspiring.”

Pictured (l-r) are Sally Ladyman, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Clinical Services Amanda Cameron and Katie Yeomans.