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Sarah Brown AM

Sarah Brown AM was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to community health, to remote area nursing, and to the Indigenous community.

She is the inspirational CEO of Purple House in the Western Desert of Central Australia. Purple House’s mission is ‘Making all our families well’ and they offer remote dialysis, social support, aged-care and NDIS services, and run a bush medicine social enterprise called Bush Balm. Since the opening of the first dialysis clinic in 2004, they have expanded to now run 18 remote clinics and a mobile dialysis unit called the Purple Truck, which allows patients to head back home to visit family, for festivals, funerals and other cultural business.

“We started Dialysis Outbush in 2004 and people’s health just started to improve right from the start.

“Hope is such a powerful thing.

“Today we’re in 18 communities and we’ve got the Purple Truck. Here at the Purple House we’re offering all sorts of services and supports for people who are away from home.

“The thing that keeps me going are peoples optimism and their determination. And they are so proud of what they’ve achieved.

“To be along for the ride of that is a complete honour.

“It’s not thankless work because I get to see healthy, happy people get back to country and that’s the biggest award of them all.

“It’s so lovely, and so lovely for the Purple House, that the work that we are all doing is recognised as important.

“Because beyond me, the essence of the story is about Aboriginal people having a problem and coming up with their own solution and being incredibly proud of what they’ve been able to achieve. It knocks all sorts of stereotypes about remote communities completely out of the water.

“I just have the honour to have being along for the ride.

“I think it is really important that stories that don’t usually get light on them, get told. And that people understand what a diverse, and creative and resilient country we are.”

Sarah was recognised through the Order of Australia because she has made an extraordinary impact and worked tirelessly. Her appointment was made possible because someone in her community nominated her for recognition – to nominate someone from your community, click here.