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Craig Steel and Merle O'Donnell were the recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award for Leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health at the recent 9th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (NATSIEH) conference in Adelaide.
The awards were announced on 13 November 2013 at the conference dinner at the Adelaide Oval by Xavier Schobben, chair of the Working Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (WGATSIEH).
Merle O'Donnell has wide ranging experience across the national and grass roots level, working in all aspects of environmental health, from policy through to intervention. Merle chaired the National Indigenous Environmental Health Forum (now WGATSIEH) for four years, as well as working for Queensland Health in a number of roles since 2000. She is currently doing environmental health work at Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council.
Merle's motivation is to improve health outcomes for Indigenous people, and to improve the services to and for communities, whilst building community capacity for the maintenance and improvement of health standards. She is well known and well respected across all levels of government and in communities and is considered an Elder in the Central Queensland community.
Craig Steel worked for the South Australian Department of Health for 30 years, before retiring in 2009. Craig worked as Manager of the Regional Services Section, responsible for providing public health services to 85% of the South Australian land mass not in a council area, of which a key role was providing public health services to remote Indigenous communities. Known for his dedication to improving life for Indigenous people, Craig was also a key member and staunch supporter of WGATSIEH, and a founding member of the first NATSIEH conference organising group.
The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet would like to extend our warm congratulations to both Merle and Craig for their awards.
Source: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health Conference