Congratulations to Ricky Buchanan who was recently named as the Mid North Coast Local Health District's Volunteer of the Year.
Ricky received his award at a special 'virtual' Innovation In Health ceremony last month.
Awards were presented in 10 team and three individual categories, and instead of the traditional handshakes, there were plenty of virtual hugs and rapturous applause.
As community chair of the Macksville Hospital Aboriginal Community Reference Group, Ricky was heavily involved in the consultation and decision-making of the new hospital.
He was also the keystone of the hospital street art and sculpture project.
"Without Ricky this project wouldn't have been possible. He was integral in the whole process," National Aboriginal Design Agency Director Jane Taverner said.
This was the full citation read out at the award ceremony:
A local Gumbaynggirr man from Bowraville, Ricky Buchanan is dedicated and passionate in supporting local health facilities. His valuable volunteer contribution is evident in multiple initiatives supporting Macksville Hospital. Ricky is a role model who inspires the next generation of Aboriginal people and encourages them to give back to their community. Working tirelessly for the community, Ricky continually offers his time, knowledge and support to Macksville Hospital. He is an enthusiastic young man and emerging leader. Macksville Hospital is extremely lucky to have a volunteer of his calibre!
And Ricky's contributions to the community aren't slowing down any time soon. One of his next goals is to have a hand in designing more localised cultural awareness training for hospital staff.