Chrystal Endean

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2018

Australian Catholic University, QLD
Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Awarded 2018
Sponsored by:

Rotary Club of Cleveland

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

For a very young age I developed a passion to help people, this has continued throughout my life influencing my career.   My strongest desire to become a nurse with a keen interest of working with infants and children, was cemented when I became a mother.   I finally had the courage to put the steps in motion to achieve my dream of making a real difference to people lives, through health.

Although born and raised away from my traditional country, I have been acknowledged and accepted within my local community of Winnam, having close ties to the Quandamooka people of Moreton Bay.   This has afforded me a wonderful opportunity to not only have strong connections with my community but also contribute to the overall well-being of its people.   In addition, this has allowed me greater insight into the needs of Indigenous people, both physically, socially and culturally.   I have a firm belief that holistic care is required to ensure the best outcomes are achieved.

I have a great awareness of the current disparity that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.   As a qualified medical practitioner, I will be able to contribute to Indigenous health, serving to not only improve on overall health outcomes but to contribute to Closing the Gap that exists within our communities.  By delivering culturally sensitive care, my hope is to encourage our people to stay healthy, seek support when needed and provide the required advocacy to enable this to occur.   I feel it is integral to our health system to have more Indigenous health workers to support our people, thus, contributing to the overall well being of our society.

Current Progressive Report

Semester one 2018 saw me in my third year as a part-time Bachelor of Nursing Student.  The units of enrolment consisted of Child, Adolescent and Family Health and Indigenous Health and Culture.

Child Nursing is a clear passion of mine and I really enjoyed the Unit, it confirmed my desire to work with children.  It was my first introduction to IBL (Inquiry Based Learning), to which a scenario provides key triggers for research to be conducted and presented.  This was performed in a weekly group work format and I was fortunate to have a great group of peers to be working over the semester.  This Unit saw us cover not only growth and development but the National Health Priorities affecting Australian children, adolescents and families and more specifically the role of the Nurse.  The Unit included and had specific notation on child Indigenous health and the existing health disparity.

I really enjoyed the Indigenous Health and Culture Unit.  Unlike traditional tutorials, these tutorials were performed in the format of Yarning Circles.  It was a brilliant way to introduce people to Indigenous Culture.  I was surprised when I discovered that not only was I the only Indigenous person in my Tutorial group, but the entire group had very little to no knowledge of Indigenous history. I contributed to almost every yarn, allowing other students to have insight into my culture.  It was really encouraging to see the change in views of my peers from the start of the Unit to the final tutorial.   This Unit has immense focus on Indigenous history and provided great insight into why the current health disparity exists today.  I feel that this Unit is of great benefit to any future Health Professional.

At the start of the semester I was enrolled into three subjects, being the first time, I had enrolled into as many.  My daughter had also just commenced formal education, starting Prep. Shortly after commencement, it became apparent that she would require some learning support and for this reason I withdrew from a subject to be able to manage with the extra support required in the form of Occupation Therapy and additional medical appointments.

On a positive note, I was invited to join the Golden Key Academics Society, being in the top 15% of my cohort.  I was very humbled by this honour and nothing made me prouder than to receive my award in front of my family on the night.

As always, being a mature-aged student and a single working mother certainly does come with its challenges, but I am almost half way through my part-time degree and I am very proud of what I have achieved and look forward to what is ahead.