The Flinders NT Trisha Maroney Memorial Prize was launched at the Katherine Campus on Tuesday 15th May in the presence of her partner, Mark DiFrancesco, Associate Dean of Flinders NT, Professor John Wakerman, Her Worship the Mayor of Katherine – Faye Miller, colleagues and friends.
Ms Maroney was a proud Wardaman woman from the Katherine region and an experienced speech pathologist with a career focussed on the provision of culturally appropriate health services. An academic clinical supervisor with Flinders NT Katherine, Ms Maroney educated about 14 speech pathology students who worked with teachers, school support personnel and at least 67 Aboriginal children and their families. She also developed a resource for speech pathologists, which focused on improving outcomes for Aboriginal English speaking children. This was aimed at enabling Aboriginal families to become more successful in accessing local allied health services.
The prize which acknowledges Ms Maroney’s legacy, will be awarded to a health professional student on placement within the Katherine region who demonstrates the most significant self-reflection and improvement in cultural safe practice. Students will enter by submitting a 1,000 word essay at completion of their placement. The prize will be judged annually by a committee including two Flinders NT Katherine campus staff members plus one Aboriginal non-Flinders Katherine resident, and will be presented annually by the Director of the Katherine campus.
Testimonials from Ms Maroney’s students, to whom she provided cultural orientation, Aboriginal communication development information, and detailed linguistic knowledge, include:
The orientation was inspiring and empowering; and that the detail about language, phonology, gesture and sign, in particular, has been of great value clinically.
Trisha’s support was fantastic. My confidence across all areas has improved as a result of this placement.
The thing that was most valuable for my learning was the 1.5 day long history and culture workshop delivered by Ms Maroney. I thought I knew about current problems, (all kinds) facing Indigenous Australians but I really had no idea.