India Shackleford
India Shackleford

India Shackleford

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2023

Flinders University, SA

Doctor of Medicine
Scholarship Awarded 2023

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Somerton Park, SA

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

The global pandemic underlined to me the important role that health practitioners and researchers play in promoting positive health outcomes.   This renewed interest within the health field of health, as well as my strong desire as an Aboriginal woman to help ‘Close the Gap’ inspired me to begin my studies in the Doctor of Medicine program.

As a research assistant at SAHMRI in the Aboriginal Health Equity Theme (Wardliparingga), my research endeavours to better understand factors leading to inequity within health outcomes, particular in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander our people.  It’s clear doctors have an important role in supporting the health of young mob, but that there is still challenges to be overcome in terms of racism and sexism in the health system.

I am painfully aware of the shortage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors.  We can only be what we can see, and I want to follow in the footsteps of inspiring Indigenous doctors like Professor Helen Milroy and Professor Alex Brown.   I also want to play a key role in changing the narratives surrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – we have a rich history in science and healing, stretching back thousands of years.   By completing my Doctor of Medicine qualification, I want to promote better health outcomes on a local and national  scale, in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  community members.

During my time as a medical student and thorough my career I want to act as a role model and mentor to support other First Nations young people who are passionate about health on their journeys.   I also hope to put my qualification and future role to good use by increasing cultural safety within the health system, as I intract with patients and colleagues while advocating for systematic change to reduce inequity.

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