Joshua Pierce was recognised for his contribution to nursing in Indigenous communities when he was awarded the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINam) Sally Goold Award.
The award recognises the achievements of an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander nurse or midwife who has made a substantial contribution to the profession and to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Since graduating from Australian Catholic University (ACU) in 2008 with a degree in nursing, Joshua has worked at ACU's Indigenous unit Jim-baa-yer, and as an academic within the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine.
Receiving the Sally Goold Award means a great deal to Joshua, who appreciates the recognition for the work he loves; primarily cardiac care in city and remote regions.
"In 2012 I took a year off to work throughout the Northern Territory. People are facing chronic disease and low access to health care," Joshua said.
"Being an Indigenous person I was able to connect with the community and being there for a long period of time I saw people come back for further treatment and follow up after dealing with their initial problem."
Joshua is off to Vanuatu in the university break as a leader of the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, an eight-week exchange program for young people to work with a local community on an area of education or development.
"It's all about being able to make a difference, no matter how small," he said.
Jim-baa-yer is one of four Indigenous Higher Education Units within ACU's Centre for Indigenous Education and Research. ACU offers a range of degrees in health, including a Bachelor of Nursing at the Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Ballarat and Canberra campuses, and a Bachelor of Midwifery (Indigenous) in Brisbane.