Cherie Marie Waight
Raised awareness and broke down the cultural barriers in palliative care.
1962 – 2014
Cherie Waight (nee Britten) made an outstanding contribution to her community through her efforts in palliative care and her tireless work in community. Cherie, a Yorta Yorta woman, didn’t follow a straight path in life and – much like the Dhungala river that sustains her ancestral lands – there were many swerves, peaks and lows that she navigated in order to not only continue the legacy of her ancestors but to set the example of what it means to lead with compassion.
Cherie’s lasting legacy is that she is remembered not just for what she did but also for who she was. Her compassionate leadership and empathy guided Aboriginal communities to create and enhance relationships with mainstream service providers and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to improve access to palliative care. She was a strong advocate in raising awareness about the needs of Aboriginal people accessing culturally appropriate care because she could innately connect with anyone from any background and communicate the need for collective responsibility.
Cherie’s remarkable contribution to the Victorian Aboriginal community in the area of palliative care will ensure that the dying process for Aboriginal people is a respectful and positive one.