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Gudju Gudju named as 'Improving Life After Stroke' finalist

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Gudju Gudju named as 'Improving Life After Stroke' finalist

Gimuy Yidinji Elder Gudju Gudju was not going to let a stroke stop his work to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with brain injuries.


While working as a cultural advisor with Synapse, Gudju Gudju suffered a major haemorrhagic stroke which left him completely incapacitated for six weeks.


As soon as he was able, Gudju Gudju started working from his hospital bed, filing reports and even taking meetings to ensure the vital work to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brain injury survivors continued.


It was during this time that Gudju Gudju decided he could use his own stroke experience to raise awareness of the barriers faced by Indigenous people seeking treatment and rehabilitation for brain injuries.


In addition to his work administering cultural activities to help community members affected by acquired brain injuries, Gudju Gudju now uses his role as a Traditional Elder to educate the community about stroke.

 

"Stroke effects everyone and is not confined to one culture or colour." - Gudju Gudju


Q & A

 

What does it mean to you to be named a finalist in the Stroke Awards?
It is a surprise. I never thought there was such an award!

 

Why is supporting the National Stroke Foundation and raising awareness about stroke important to you?
It's important to raise awareness about the effects of having a stroke and the long term recovery time. When I am invited to preform welcomes or key note speeches I talk about my experiences and support I have needed to continue to lead an active life.

 

How do you think your contribution has made a difference?
It's hard to say. I hope my contributions to raising awareness will encourage others to see the effects stroke has had on me and make life choices to avoid having a stroke but also to show you can recover and stay positive by sharing my experiences.

 

What motivates your work to support the stroke community?
My own experiences in the hospital rehabilitation demonstrated to me that there were little cultural appropriate avenues of rehabilitation. I felt some of the assessments may lead Indigenous stroke victims to a state of depression. There are many obvious opportunities to use culture to stimulate and assist rehabilitation.

 

What is one thing you would like people to know about stroke?
Stroke effects everyone, and is not confined to one culture or colour. It can effect anybody and everybody. If you become a victim of stroke try to be positive, always strive to push yourself to get better no matter how hard or painful it gets - your own motivation will drive your recovery.

References and further information

The 'Improving Life After Stroke Award' is an initiative of the Stroke Foundation. 

 

To learn about all the finalists visit the Stroke Foundation's website https://www.strokefoundation.com.au/what-we-do/national-stroke-foundation-awards/improving-life-after-stroke-award 

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