Indigenous Health Scholarship 2019

Deakin University, VIC
Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Awarded 2019
Sponsored by:

Rotary Club of Mareeba

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

To answer the question to what my contribution would be as a qualified nurse in improving Indigenous Health would come down to my years spent working on the lines as a health worker. The current position in which I have spent 5 years in has been a true eye opener for me. I have come to learn so much about our culture and the many chronic diseases our people face day in and day out. It has been a rewarding career for me to be a health worker as I can be an educator, act as an advocate, a guide and a voice for many individuals and families who feel unheard.

It has always been my strength and fight to help others and to stand up for what is right. When I see the amount of young and elderly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people fighting against sickness and disease. I know that in my community I will be one out of the many professions who is aiming to make a change. And for me to become a nurse I will than have the skills, the teachings and the ability to further provide better knowledge and education. I can as a nurse expand on my area of expertise and skills and take it wherever needed and know that what I carry out will be the best of advanced knowledge and practiced skills.

I love being a health worker but becoming a nurse will allow for more opportunities to give back to our community and better the health of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. My main goal in becoming a registered nurse is providing my contribution in working on Closing the Gap. I know that as an Aboriginal woman having a career a as registered nurse, I will have a better approach and attitude towards Indigenous people whether it be in a community or hospital setting. Growing up with family of my own who had fought and passed from sickness and being an eye witness to this from such a young age and to this day. I know that my story can relate to the many individuals and families who have faced or are facing such health issues that can be terrifying or confronting to deal with.

I know that I can create a support and protected environment where we can focus directly on the person on a holistic approach in providing the top care and education that we have. I will be a strong support for the Indigenous communities of Australia and will provide all my time and energy to make sure that we Close the Gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Current Progressive Report

I’m very proud to share that my most recent semester at University has been my strongest to date. I exceeded my high standard from semester one (two H1 marks; H1 being 80% or above). This semester I achieved a H1 grade for all four of my subjects. Furthermore, I earned 89% for my Indigenous Peoples unit, which is my highest mark ever achieved at university. My scores for the remaining three subjects ranged between 83% – 84%.

As detailed in my previous letter, I also successfully completed a four-month field placement at Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative in Shepparton from May to September 2016. While I enjoyed living in Shepparton, it was a pleasure to return to Melbourne for semester two. I returned to Melbourne with a new confidence in my abilities as a social worker.

This new confidence led to me apply for a part-time role as case manager at the youth organisation, Whitelion. In my role as a “Tiddas Coordinator” I work with young Aboriginal girls in Melbourne to provide support and mentoring to enable these girls to work through crises, build links to drug and alcohol services and maximise positive outcomes from the Criminal Justice System. It is because of the support provided by Rotary that I have been able to limit my work commitments to one day a week, and achieve academically.

The most exciting development of 2016 was being accepted into a cultural exchange with the universities of Northern Arizona and Arizona State University in the USA. This was a dream come true for me. Over the holiday break, I travelled with fellow Aboriginal students and university employees to the States and visited many Indigenous communities – sharing stories, learning traditions and making life-long friends.