Healthy Heart Challenge
Home > Your Champions > Vicki Wade
Vicki Wade
Vicki Wade is the Leader of the National Aboriginal Health Unit at the Heart Foundation.

Vicki is a proud Nyoongar woman and her mob is from the south west of Perth. Vicki comes from a strong Aboriginal family where the women were healers, first her Nan Lily who helped the women on the mission at Gnowangerup with no formal education (Aboriginal people at the time were denied education) and her mother was one of the first Aboriginal women to become an enrolled nurse in rural south west Perth.

Vicki continued the healing tradition and undertook her nursing training in 1976, where she has been a strong advocate of improving Aboriginal health and status within New South Wales. Her career in health has spanned over three decades and during that time she has witnessed first hand the effects of poor health on her people.

"Aboriginal women are dying far too young from heart disease, this is an enormous challenge in closing the gap. It is up to us women folk to take up the challenge to get healthy for our coolingars - our babies and our grandchildren." Vicki has four children and three grandchildren and for their sake hopes her commitment and efforts can contribute to closing the gap.
Vicki has chosen the 'Be active every day' goal.
Week 3 update
I have been travelling a lot of late, so have had to look for alternative ways to incorporate physical activity into daily activities, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift and walking back to the hotel from the city rather than catching a cab. Being away form my treadmill (as it would not fit on the plane) has been a bit of a challenge for me.

Through focussing on my physical activity I have become more aware of other lifestyle factors such as healthy eating to complement this.  My focus on physical activity has definitely made me more conscious of my food intake!

My advice to fellow challengers is, if things seem difficult and you can’t stick to your routine, try to find alternative ways to incorporate goals.

Week 6 update

I am really enjoying the Challenge, however I do find it difficult to stay on track at times (especially when you have not been exercising for a number of years!) It is so easy to make 100 excuses not to keep up the exercise routine then I think to myself “you can’t give up, you’re an ambassador” and get right back on track. The exercise is now becoming part of my weekly rituals and I find that once I am in a routine it is easier to maintain. 


You know all your hard work is paying off when you can keep up with your grandchildren, walk up Collins street to the train without puffing and when your husband of thirty years starts paying you compliments.

I have rewarded myself by buying some good gym shoes and exercise gear so now I really look the part.


One of the biggest challenges now is actually getting time on the treadmill at home, as all the family have jumped on the exercise bandwagon too!