Jasmine John
Jasmine John

Jasmine John

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2023

LaTrobe University, Vic

Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy)
Scholarship Awarded 2023

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Geelong East

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

Throughout my past two years of university, I have participated in tutoring Indigenous youth through the Graham Polly Farmer Foundation.    This has kept me connected to helping my community and has taught me a lot about myself.   When I first left for university I had ambitions to pursue a career in physiotherapy and return to Broome to assist in sporting programs for Indigenous youth.

Entering my second year  of university I became aware of Occupational Therapy (OT) and the extremely low number of Indigenous people in this field of healthcare.    The various pathways of OT aligned with my  personal goals of staying involved in the community and creating a comfortable environment to receive healthcare.   It was the beginning of 2022 when I started this course and so far, I have just become more determined to finishing the degree and begin helping Indigenous people around Australia.

Finishing my degree will be a great personal achievement but it will also provide me with the opportunity to work in rural and remote communities as these are where the barriers of healthcare are most prominent.   My goal in my career is to give back and create the comfortable environment that myself, my mum, my grandmother and her mother never experienced.

I want to dedicate myself to helping Close this Gap between Indigenous people and healthcare and I believe that with my ambitious nature I will make great changes in my time.

Current Progress Report

This semester has been a motivating and exciting time as I began my first-year studies of Occupational Therapy. Relocating to Melbourne from WA has been challenging, both mentally and financially. With the support of the Rotary Scholarship alongside multiple calls to my family I have been able to get through my first semester very well. I have grown into an independent and assertive individual, which are attributes I have endeavoured to develop in the past few years. I am really enjoying the course and find that it compliments my career aspirations very well. Having such a broad variety of career roles Occupational Therapy provides a great pathway for me to attempt to change drug and alcohol use and rehabilitation in remote communities across Australia.

This semester I organised my time to focus on my studies and as my results reflect, the outcome was very positive. This has been my highest WAM (weighted average mark) so far in my university journey and has boosted my confidence in my studies since returning this year. The subjects for first semester also allowed for times of self-reflection and individual development which are great for personal and professional growth. Over the university break I also endured upon an internship in the Occupational Therapy Mental Health field.

Through this opportunity I was able to understand the research side of Occupational Therapy and further get a taste of what it would be like if I chose research honours in my fourth year of studies. Additionally, I was able to work with Aboriginal youth of NSW, which is a population I am passionate about working with in the future. For the remainder of the year and semester two studies, I intend to continue to prioritise my study and reflect on my practice. I want to maintain a high WAM to be able to transfer back to a WA University easily and for my own personal goal. I also want to start understanding the difference between industry and research honours a little more so I know which will assist me the most in my career goals. Overall, this semester has been a great challenge for my own personal and professional growth, and I am excited to continue my studies.

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