Caitlin McClung
Caitlin McClung

Caitlin McClung

Indigenous Health Scholarship

University of Canberra, ACT

Bachelor of Science (Psychology)
Scholarship Awarded 2021 – 2022

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Tuggeranong

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?

I have always had a fascination for the human mind. Taking my time to learn about and educate others on the phenomenon of mental processes and techniques has only fuelled my passion. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a topic that holds most of my interest within the field, particularly surrounding the traumas of war and terror. In the future, I hope to work closely with Australian Veterans of war, and more specifically, Indigenous Australian Veterans. I believe mental health support requires plenty more attention amongst veterans and that there is not merely enough assistance for the selfless members of our country integrating into society. It is important to me to work specifically with indigenous veterans as I want to support and strengthen my own culture and learn about myself and other Indigenous Australians along the way. I believe it will be a very self-accomplishing and empowering experience to be able to help Indigenous Australians become healthy and happy after selflessly fighting for our country.

While working closely with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Veterans, I want to experiment and potentially conduct research on the integration of veterans back into society. This is a process that requires plenty of support and motivation for the individuals and currently does not receive enough attention, which is reflected in the statistical suicide rates amongst ex-service members in Australia. I plan to include plenty of culture when working with Indigenous Australian Veterans and will incorporate this into many aspects of my role wherever necessary. It will be a priority for me to be educated, knowledgeable and inclusive of every Indigenous client’s circumstances. I will use both my knowledge of my culture and psychological expertise to individualise each client’s progression into civilian life and create a safe and comfortable integration while incorporating culture and respecting their diversity, this will make my Indigenous clients feel catered to and understood. It is important that Indigenous and non-Indigenous Veterans do feel supported and empowered during such a challenging and confusing process, I aim to make this challenge rather a pleasant and safe process for each Veteran and I truly hope that I can make a difference in Indigenous Australian Veterans’ lives.

Current Progressive Report

This semester was an exciting time for me. I began professional placement with the Department of Health and learnt so many new skills I can apply both at University and within my professional career. I believe this placement helped me become much more competent and gave me many insights into my job in out of home care. Working in a Government environment was a complete shift from my usual work where I am one-on-one with clients and working closely with their behaviour. I gained knowledge about policies surrounding foster care and out of home placements, as well as got to take part in many large projects and research that will impact not only my clients, but many kids around Australia. This felt very rewarding for me, and I enjoyed seeing how many issues are delegated and approached, however, this placement made me appreciate the personalisation of my Youth Worker position. I enjoy feeling that I’ve made a large impact on one individual’s life and working closely with them to work towards their goals, rather than working in the office and making small changes, nation-wide.

Academically, I am happy with the things that I achieved this semester. Throughout my degree, I have found statistics classes the most challenging, however, this semester I reached my personal goal and got the grade that I was striving for, not only in statistics, but in all my classes.

I am so grateful for the generosity of Rotary and I am feeling so blessed to have received support for my studies. This assistance helped me succeed at University as well as save, save, save! I am so excited to be graduating at the end of this year and will have Rotary to thank for the tremendous support I received throughout my time at University.

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