Indigenous Health Scholarship 2023
University of Western Australia, WA
Doctor of Medicine
Scholarship Awarded 2023
How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
As a child I was immersed in health education, either through family and community and in school. I was exposed to Aboriginal health travelling into remote Pilbara Western Desert communities with my mother, a nurse and educator, assisting her acting as a patient model in Senior First Aid and health courses. This planted a seed for me to work in health with Aboriginal communities.
Once I have completed Doctor of Medicine I plan to specialise in Paediatrics and work with Aboriginal children, their families and communities. Having Aboriginal representation in children’s health should make children and families feel culturally safe and not feel alienated as Aboriginal patients. Additionally, using my lived experience and knowledge of the barriers that my children and I faced and how we overcome this may help develop strategies and programmes to reduce discrimination and address access and inequity.
Qualifications in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing gives an overarching view to social, emotional, and mental health of Aboriginal people; embedding a holistic approach to underpinning social health determinants to provide access and equity and empower health literacy in children and families. I plan to undertake research and integrate art therapy and Stolen Generations family anecdotes to underpin any research questions. My interest in research is to continue learning and seeking evidence-based answers and I hope to contribute towards one or more research projects at UWA.
I use my art practice to tell stories about the importance of Aboriginal health and wellbeing in a holistic approach bringing together human biology and anatomy with Aboriginal culture and landscapes depicting Aboriginal health and well-being, connection to country and how that connection is imperative to Aboriginal health. This informative approach to medical and health education ultimately, depicts how Country is more than the land, it is our health. With my health qualifications art and mentoring skills, I am equipped to develop and teach art, culture and healing and advocate for our communities in areas like mental health and suicide prevention to enrich our culture as healing.
Overall, I strive to make meaningful contributions to the Closing the Gap national socio-economic targets within my families, schools and community by continuing to develop community engagement and health promotion initiatives activities to address social economic disparities.