Indigenous Health Scholarship 2019
Flinders University, NT
Bachelor of Medicine
Scholarship Awarded 2019
Rotary Clubs of Darwin
How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
I am a proud Yorta Yorta and Torres Strait Islander woman. I am a mother of four boys from ages 11 years to 8 months-old. I have a great passion to help my people and feel my lived experience will serve well as a medical professional. My goal to be a doctor stems from wanting to make a difference for my community’s health, my interest in science, and wanting to participate in the dynamic changes within medicine. My lived experience includes watching my elders pass away at a much younger age than the wider Australian population. My maternal and paternal grandparents were all affected by cancer and died far too young. The Indigenous community should not see this as normal. My family suffer from varying comorbidities including: hypertension, diabetes mellitus and respiratory diseases. I want to be a part of that change in Closing the Gap. I want to create safe spaces for my community’s health needs, especially within health education and promotion.
I have always worked within the community and feel my story has motivated other Indigenous people to achieve. Another motivator to become a doctor is my son Jacob. His tragic illness occurred two months after applying for medical school and in my final year of my undergraduate degree. Despite the diagnosis and subsequent challenges, I completed my degree and successfully gained entry into the Northern Territory Medical Program. I believe this demonstrates strength, resilience and passion to learn. I believe these attributes will aid in becoming an efficient doctor. Working alongside other Indigenous health workers, we can help increase culturally appropriate health service delivery with focus on promotion and prevention of diseases prevalent among our people.
I feel that there should be an intertwining of Traditional Indigenous medicines and Westernised Medicine. There is a holistic principle with Indigenous medicines that goes towards community care. To have knowledge of both will create an effective health service delivery. By completing a medical degree, I will help further educate within the Indigenous community. I straddle two worlds, that of my community and that of wider Australian society. As a doctor, I will be the diplomat between the two worlds, between western and traditional medicines. I understand the determinants of health and how low socioeconomics affects this, especially in rural and remote areas. It is my aspiration to increase awareness and education on the importance of keeping healthy to stay strong for Indigenous people.
I aim to be a positive role model and demonstrate that medicine or careers in health are possible. It is my role as an Indigenous woman to improve awareness in these areas. The flow on effect, creates educated Indigenous people leading to inter-generational changes in health care, essentially improving Indigenous health as a whole.