July 7, 2023

Get to know: Moira Rayner


NAIDOC Week is an opportunity to honour and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme for this year is ‘For Our Elders’, which pays tribute to the Elders who have been mentors, teachers and role models, passing on their wisdom and cultural knowledge for generations.

Today, we meet Moira Rayner, Emergency Department Aboriginal Liaison Officer.

Q: What does a typical day look like as the Emergency Department Aboriginal Liaison Officer?

A: From my perspective, there is no such thing as a typical day. Every shift is different as patient journeys and supports are so diverse depending on the needs of each patient. Some patients just like to ‘yarn’ and have another Aboriginal person present, so they feel culturally safe and comfortable. Other patients might come in with quite complex needs, so I get to work with different program areas across the emergency department and in the hospital. It’s never dull.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your role?

A: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, my deadly team sister girls at Narrun Wilip-giin, and the champions that exist at Northern Health – you know who you are and there is quite a few. I have been very fortunate to have co-worked with many people who share the same passion about supporting the Aboriginal patient journey.

Q: This week is NAIDOC Week. What significance does this day have for you?

A: NAIDOC is a reflective time for me. It’s a reminder of all the struggles my people and Elders have experienced in the past and at the same time, a celebration of achievements within our communities. It’s an opportunity for all of the community to learn and experience what culture means to us and share in amazing cultural activities that run throughout the course of the week.

The best part is the ‘NAIDOC March’, where you can experience the whole Aboriginal community and allies marching down the street in the colours of our flag, with my children and grandchildren in tow – this is the highlight of the year for me.

 Q: Which Northern Health value (safe, kind, together) do you relate to best and why?

A: The Northern Health value that I can relate to is together – with my team, our executive, and other program areas that I have been fortunate to work alongside. Northern Health has a willingness to support Aboriginal health in ways I have not experienced in other hospitals.

Q: If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

A: Spending all my time with my grandchildren.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time

A: Most people smile at this, but believe it or not, I play pennant in the sport of lawn bowls. I love it because it’s a game that you can never master! So, any spare time I have, I can be found at my local club practicing.