After making a difference in war-torn places, Lauren Cooney has returned to the Riverina.
The Wagga nurse has turned to photography to capture beautiful moments she wont ever take for granted, following many years witnessing humanity’s horrors.
Ms Cooney said making a difference was the number-one priority in her career and the reason she had been a part of MSF – Doctors without Borders – for 13 years.
Ms Cooney provided emergency medical aid to thousands affected by violence, neglect and disease across the world.
On her last mission to war-torn north-east Nigeria, Ms Cooney worked as the emergency coordinator for more than 60,000 displaced individuals.
“We opened three health clinics there,” Ms Cooney said. “We also opened an in-patient facility for children 15-years and under.”
She said a significant part of what she did involved not being silent about what she saw.
“We still had children dying a few times a week,” Ms Cooney said. “Even with all you’re doing there’s still more to be done.”
Ms Cooney said she and her team had “a huge impact in the lives of those patients”. She said even though it had been a challenging career, it had been worth it. Ms Cooney urged Wagga residents to recognise how fortunate they were. she said just having a level of awareness made a big difference.