Katelin Smith
Katelin Smith

Katelin Smith

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2022

University of Newcastle, NSW

Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Awarded 2021

Sponsored by:
Keith Henning

University of Newcastle, NSW

Doctor of Medicine
Scholarship Awarded 2020

Sponsored by:
Learnmed Group

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

I want to be able to help other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the community to close the gap in our education and healthcare systems and to be an example and demonstrate that higher education is achievable for all and financial assistance is available to support the journey. Education and teaching are something I am passionate about because we can not make a change without first educating others as to why we need the change.

This scholarship will greatly assist my dream to become an Indigenous doctor which means I will be able to help people within my community in the ways they need it more and when they need ti most. I want to use my degree to help my community to understand the health system so they can receive the healthcare they need and deserve. I am passionate, to help with education surrounding healthy lifestyles and to give my community the support they need if they become ill.

It can be hard for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to trust in healthcare systems due to the history of mistreatment we faced within health care institutions. This can impact greatly on treatment options and can sometimes make what was a treatable illness develop into a terminal disease. I want to help my people, to overcome the fear and the stigma surrounding the healthcare system, and to enable them to be comfortable and confident in seeing a doctor and being a part of their own treatment so that a treatable illness can be cured, instead of leaving it too late and letting it claim a life that could be saved.

Current Progressive Report

Semester 2 has been challenging trying to navigate university now that my baby is a bit older, I was still able to take her along to classes which helped because it meant I didn’t need to put her into day-care, personally I was not ready for that step and financially it was another expense I would go without if I could. I did however enrol the kids into swimming lessons as summer was approaching and I knew we would be trying to beat the heat this summer. My scholarship allowed me to organise weekly swimming lessons without having to stress about covering the costs.

I also commenced working at the John Hunter Hospital as an Indigenous Cadet on ward G1, this has enabled me to use my skills and further develop my knowledge as a student RN, I have found the staff on the ward very accommodating and more than willing to teach, and the cadet team very supportive, I have loved having that opportunity.  The university was very accommodating and supportive and have allowed me to sit the exam on February 13th, I will keep you posted on the outcomes.

I have also applied for tutoring through Wollotuka for this upcoming semester, I feel that I will need that little extra support this semester and am wishing I had used it last semester.    I am hoping this semester is a little more uneventful and can run a bit smoother, can not wait for the next catch up with Rotary and other students.

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