Indigenous Health Scholarship 2019

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 2 of 2018 saw my enrolment into three units; Mental Health Nursing, Mental Health Clinical Integration and Promotion of Health in Extended Care.

The Mental Health units went hand in hand as tutorial and practical units.  I found this delivery a fabulous way to have group discussions about Mental Health, the stigmatism that is ever present in our communities and what is currently being done in the Healthcare sector to assist with this. It was particularly interesting to gain an aspect of Mental Health from fellow students with differing cultural backgrounds.  During this semester I participated in ACU’s first ever mid-semester placement. This was confusing at times for both Lecturers and students alike. I found the Mental Health Placement brought new challenges both on a personal level and as a student- nurse. It allowed me to refine my personal skills and reflect on what is needed to stay healthy as a nurse into the future.

The unit Promotion of Extended Care focused on the importance of well-being, quality of life and health promotion for older people and those affected by life-limiting diseases. This unit made students look outside the box for care delivery and services to ensure quality of life is maintained.  I was fortunate enough to have a wonderfully passionate lecture which made the unit a pleasure. The balance of three units brought some difficulties, especially when considering the group work aspect.