She is an inspirational Australian nurse Valerie Browning lives and works with the nomadic Afar people of Ethiopia. The Afar region is one of the poorest places on earth where temperatures hit 60 degrees and one in three children die before the age of five. Valerie has been described by Channel 9’s 60 Minutes as “one of our unsung national treasures”.
She has lived among the Afar nomads for more than 20 years and has worked tirelessly to improve their lives. With her Afar husband Ismael Ali Gardo she set up the the Afar Pastoral Development Association (APDA).
APDA works hard to improve literacy for the Afar, promote maternal and child health and tackle the growing problem of HIV and AIDS.
Valerie has been awarded an Order of Australia for service to International Humanitarian Aid and has written a book about her life called Maalika – My life among the Afar nomads of Africa.