Francis Hayes
Retired Private
8th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment
Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Australian Army

Australian Service Medal – South East Asia
Australian Defence Medal
Anniversary of National Service 1951-72 Medal

Francis is a Ngalakan man who has been living in and giving back to his community for most of his life. In his younger years Francis served Australia as the first Indigenous soldier from the Katherine region. Upon returning from service, Francis continued to give back to his community through tireless efforts to improve the health of men and vulnerable people (homeless or ‘long grass’ mob) in Katherine. Francis currently sits on the board of Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service and volunteers weekly at the StrongBala men’s clinic in Katherine. Francis is passionate about Aboriginal men’s health and helps by creating linkages between the clinic and the community to enhance access to health care for Aboriginal men. Francis has a special focus on the very vulnerable members of society and works with the clinic staff to introduce programs that help these people feel safe and comfortable accessing health care. Francis is proud of his culture and traditions; he runs cultural awareness programs to help non-Indigenous people understand the world from an Indigenous perspective and also contributes towards increasing cultural safety in primary health care contexts. Francis also sits on the board of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. Francis is a well-respected Katherine community member and should be recognised and acknowledged for all of his great work!