Indigenous Health Scholarship
Curtin University, WA
Bachelor of Speech Pathology (2020)
Murdoch University, WA
Bachelor of Nursing (2018 -2019)
Scholarship Awarded 2018
Rotary Clubs of Baldivis, Kwinana, Palm Beach and Rockingham
How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
After a very rewarding fifteen year career with the Education Department of Western Australia, I have been successful in applying to study a Bachelor of Nursing through Deakin University; they have a very supportive mode of study run through their Institute of Koorie Education. Much of the decision to become a nurse has been as a result of working with an amazing bunch of passionate, dedicated and highly professional nurses since I have recently started working in a Social Support role (Aboriginal Care Coordinator) at the Derby Renal Health Centre. I have also thoroughly enjoyed a recent work placement with the Palliative Care team at Broome and Royal Perth Hospital.
As a teacher, I have always worked really (as well as having spend a substantial time in remote locations); both in and out of my local community. All of which I have thoroughly enjoyed as they have taught me a lot about myself whilst also building on my capacity as a professional as well as personally. I have no desire to move to a city location as I find these rural settings to be the most rewarding.
As my background has bee primarily in education, I have only just learned about the many health issues Aboriginal people face on a day to day basis; especially the multiple health problems that are directly related to (an often mismanaged) Chronic Kidney Disease.
When I qualify as a Registered Nurse, I aim to either be in a Nurse Educator role as I have found that there is a huge gap in educating individuals about the effects and consequences of: poor lifestyle choices, early intervention and genetic factors which effect their long term health care. I have also though about becoming a remote nurse or midwife. Either way, I plan on staying in the Kimberley area – directly being able to help my people. I am sure that the experiences I have whilst on work placement will direct my focus to one of these areas.
I believe that one person helping another is a powerful mode of enriching someone’s life and I honestly believe it’s even more powerful when they share the same cultural background. I am fortunate to have that person in education and want to continue to empower my people to take control of their own health and well-being once qualified.
Current Progressive Report
Last year seemed like such a blur to me – never in a million years did I think I’d make it through, but I did! I wasn’t expecting a cancer diagnosis or the months and months of treatment and surgeries that goes with it. While I knew it would be a tough gig emotionally, I wasn’t expecting the financial toll this would take on me. And I definitely wasn’t expecting the toll this would take on my body, physically…draining is an understatement!
However, with the emotional and practical support from family and friends and St Catherines College, I was able to make it through some of the hardest times of my life. I have been so grateful for the continued financial support from Rotary and Australian Rotary Health. With backing from them, it meant I could focus on my studies as I wasn’t able to secure any work like I was initially hoping to when I relocated from Derby.
Towards the end of 2019 saw a shift in my energy levels as well as my career goals. I decided to enrol in Speech Pathology at Curtin University and started in January 2020. I was unable to complete a practical component of Nursing due to major surgery that I had in November. To be honest, the thought of shift work with how I was feeling after treatment played a major part in me switching from nursing.
Speech Pathology is still within a field which I’m so passionate about; improving Indigenous literacy outcomes will play a major role in individuals’ future success. Plus, I have NEVER met an Indigenous Allied Health Professional…I will be proud to be one by the end of 2021!
Thanks again for sticking by and continuing to support me, this means the world to me! With a combination of all the support I have received last year, I actually managed to successfully pass a year of Nursing at Murdoch! If I can do it…anyone can!