Julia-Rose Satre
Julia-Rose Satre

Julia-Rose Satre

Indigenous Health Scholarship

Griffith University, QLD

Doctor of Medicine
Scholarship Awarded 2020 – 2022

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Cleveland & Port of Brisbane (2021)
Rotary Club of Toowong (2020)

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

“Janu nagula jarndu buru rubibi” (As a salt Water Woman from Broome), my driving influence always has and always will be my people. I am very fortunate to have grown up in community where I was immersed in culture from a very young age. However, this also meant that I was privy to the ongoing suffering and trauma felt by my people. Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to help alleviate this suffering, and to help my culture to become what it once was. In order to follow this dream, I left country and moved to the city so that I could gain qualifications that would make a positive impact on my community. My journey started with a degree in Medical Laboratory Science, which ignited a deep passion for science and medicine. Sometimes I find myself getting lost while studying medicine. However, returning to country is an important motivating factor for me as I am reminded o f my communities needs. My people need me to bridge the gap between the healthcare system and them. They need me to be an advocate for them in the healthcare sector, and fight for their rights. For this reason, I am going to become a Doctor. Over the next few years I aim to focus on my studies to deepen my understanding of clinical medicine. Prior to graduating I would like to become the student director of AIDA as this will give me a platform upon which I can start to implement change. Finally, in the next 10 years I aim to complete my fellowship and work as a rural generalist in regional and remote Indigenous communities where people lack access to adequate healthcare so I can aid in Closing the Gap for Indigenous people.

While I acknowledge that bridging the gap in Indigenous healthcare is a marathon and not a sprint, I intend on doing everything in my power to aid this endeavour. My commitment to medicine can be demonstrated by my 2019 involvement in AIDA as a student representative and in HOPE4HEALTH as the Indigenous executive. Throughout both roles, I have played an important part in advocating for my Indigenous peers, while educating people on the importance of Indigenous health. I have also organised yearly medical placements back on country, to demonstrate my commitment to helping my people throughout my degree. Recently on placement i was able to use my verbal and clinical skills to help many Indigenous people. The ability to help in such an important way has made me realise that medicine certainly is the correct career path for me. Finally, I am currently working together with the Indigenous support unit and the School of Medicine to implement an ATSI-Medical student council within the university. The purpose of this council is to provide sustainable support for the Indigenous medical students at Griffith University by organising resources such as printing and tutoring sessions to assist with our studies and give us every chance to succeed during medical school.

Current Progressive Report

First and foremost, as always, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Rotary and its members for its support during 2022.

This is my tenth year at university, encompassing my bachelor degree and my medical degree. This year (2022) I entered the final year of my medical degree and for the first time in a long time, the end is in sight.

I started this year with the core clinical rotations, my first block was a critical care block, which included smaller rotations in Orthopaedics, Anaesthetics, and Intensive care medicine. This block lacked depth and the mini rotations were short and stunted due to the impact of COVID still in the community. However, I was grateful to engage back with patients. I learnt how to interpret x-rays and intubate patients, as well as immersed myself in deeper understanding of medical physiology.

My second rotation for the year was in the Emergency Department, which was incredibly fast paced with long shifts. I was fortunate to be at a teaching hospital which has a large focus on allowing students to get as involved as possible. I was able to see low triage patients by myself, do a workup, take bloods and urine cultures and formulate a plan before discussing my cases with senior staff. The third block was General Practice, which I was blessed to undertake in a small rural town with a population of 1,000 people. I saw my own patients and had the opportunity to discuss and learn with my senior staff in a safe environment. I cut out many skin lesions and developed good rapport with my patients. I was incredibly sad to leave this block as it was by far my favourite this year.

Earlier this year I was successful in obtaining a position on the Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway beginning in 2023. This pathway is something that I have been very passionate about joining since the beginning of my medical training. Growing up in rural and remote Australia I understand the need for caring and compassionate doctors in our rural, regional, and remote communities. I am proud to say that now, very soon, I will begin my training to one day join this league of medical heroes. I have a deep passion for working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and by choosing this pathway I will be able to give back to the communities which have given so much to me.

I have immensely enjoyed my clinical exposure this year, I have had the chance to learn new skills, and refined existing skills, all while engaging with patients to provide them with compassionate care. I am now (at current) 85 short days away from finishing medical school, and it feels surreal to say the least. For an Aboriginal woman from a very different upbringing to my peers, I am truly living my ancestors’ wildest dreams.

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