Indigenous Health Scholarship
University of Newcastle, NSW
Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Awarded 2020 – 2022
Rotary Club of Port Macquarie and Dr King Gan
How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
Living in the Worimi community as a proud Wiradjuri woman, and being able to call Forster – Tuncurry home for almost 30 years of my life is a proud moment as a 32 year old Wiradjuri woman.
Growing up I always wanted to go attend our Aboriginal culture classes to listen to the teacher share our history, culture, health, lifestyle, respect for elders, storytelling of the famous dreamtime stories and also going on excursions through this beautiful coastline of Lower north coast of N.S.W. I enjoyed, learnt and experienced our rich vibrant Aboriginal history throughout the Worimi and Birpi Elder’s on bush walks giving detail to how our culture survived for over 60 000 years to date.
Throughout my primary and high school years 90’s and 2000’s I got to see the rate of young Aboriginal students choose bad habits, drop out of school due to lack of education, lack of support from home life, lack healthy lifestyle as that’s all they knew and mortality of our culture increase more and more.
After sitting back and realizing since starting my bachelor in Nursing degree, i wanted to change the stigma in our beautiful country around young Aboriginal kids health and how they portray our culture. Once starting this degree and also my Aboriginal studies coarse I have come to realise I am meant to be working with my beautiful caring Aboriginal community who supported my sporting career when I was younger and by also promoting a happy healthy lifestyle as a registered nurse in this proud Worimi community I call home, then later on hopefully I can exceed my own expectations and go remotely in all corners of this big great sun burnt country we call Australia. If I can change someone’s life for the better I am one proud Aboriginal woman.
Nurses understand how much learning exceeds the class room walls. Learning is a lifelong process for those who wish to be successful nurses, because they must communicate, adapt and lead within a constantly changing environment. An effective leader understands and recognizes that all genders, ethnicities, and cultures exist within their organisations and communities and as such, their views and actions should be reflective of this populace. They will have an arsenal of interpersonal skills, an awareness and acceptance of cultural differences, self-awareness, evolving knowledge of different cultures, and adaptation of skills, understand an individual’s background, culture, preferences and experiences on a personal level, because they know firsthand how this positively impacts their experience and care.
As a nurse from the same culture I would present benefits in my community and surrounding areas within my culture, as I would have a greater knowledge and understanding of their cultural obligations which I believe that in turn can contribute and improve indigenous health as a qualified Register Nurse/health worker.
Current Progressive Report
Hello, my name is Farrah Barnes, and I am a proud Wollotuka student at the University of Newcastle, Port Macquarie Campus.
Please allow the time for us to acknowledge our traditional custodians of the land in which the University’s campuses reside and pay my respect to Elders past, present and emerging. I extend this acknowledgement to the Biripi people of the land in which the Port Macquarie campus resides that I study at and Callaghan Campus, Newcastle and Ourimbah Campus, Gosford in which my fellow student’s study at. I also extend this to my blood line out in the Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri lines out in Far north and west N.S.W.
The past 6 months has been a little difficult for our family, between floods and not being able to get to the uni as it was all online again and more COVID closures, lockdowns also meant we went back to online zoom classes, kids home on and off which is just not the same as face-to-face learning. I felt I was getting the information and processing what I was learning, I also felt good within myself but my results of 45.45% for NURS 3106 Leading, Teaching, Mentoring and Clinical supervision which indicated another failed course in 2022. I took these fails to heart last year and lost my confidence of finishing my degree.
2022 stated off with a new mindset and I am coming back bigger and stronger to finish my end goal and hopefully now medicated right. Dr Lyn Bowen – Port Macquarie campus has guided me with a program plan which see’s this end goal in place. I understand life does get in the way and I have figured out the right balance for myself, family, work, and full-time university life. Balancing these all together is a challenge though; I feel I have been doing the best I can with the multiple issues that have been dealt to my hand these past 12 months.