Lucy Variakojis
Lucy Variakojis

Lucy Variakojis

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2022

University of Western Australia, WA

Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery
Scholarship Awarded 2020

Sponsored by:
Rotary Clubs of Baldivis, Kwinana,
Rockingham and Palm Beach

University of Western Australia, WA

Bachelor of  Science (Sports Science and Exercise)
Scholarship Awarded 2018 – 2019

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Kalamunda

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

Contributing to improving Indigenous health when I become a medical practitioner is a crucial part of what becoming a doctor means to me. To be able to the Australian Indigenous people is something that I strive to do as I believe there is a great divide in our society between the health issues of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

I have strong aspirations of one day becoming a doctor and closing the gap between these two cultures. I believe that both access and education are key factors in fixing this divide. As I am in the process of becoming a qualified health practitioner I aim to further my knowledge of Indigenous health issues while studying. In order to achieve this, I will attend various health conferences, take units at university dedicated to improving health within Indigenous society and also speak face to face with other health practitioners to find out what they are doing in order to improve Indigenous Health. To this end, I recently attended the rural health conference held in Perth that focused specifically on Indigenous health issues. There I learned a variety of key points that I would use to improve Indigenous health once becoming a doctor, the most pertinent of these points was access. Both access to medial facilities and to education about health issues, I think, have been responsible for the major divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health standards in Australia, particularly in rural areas. Once I have the privilege of becoming a doctor I will attempt to diminish this divide and create more access for Indigenous people by helping to ensure they are provided with the correct education about health issues and I will also help by providing free health services to Indigenous people and communities that are in need of support.

I hope one day to establish a charity or at least charitable arm of my own service in which I allocate time to specifically address Indigenous issues through the aforementioned free health services and also in conducted free educational seminars. My dream is that other practitioners will join my charity and it will grow big enough to help Indigenous communities across the whole of WA including isolated rural communities. Once becoming a health practitioner, I will endeavour to always be up to date with the latest health issues and treatments that may surround the Indigenous people so that my charitable work is as modern and effective as possible.

Current Progressive Report

I am in my third year of medicine at UWA. Including my undergrad degree, I have now been at uni for almost 7 years. Next year is my final year of medicine and I am excited to start working as a doctor.

Semester 1 of 2022 has consisted of full-time placement in hospitals. So far, I have done paediatrics, GP and internal medicine. I loved paediatrics and I am keeping this in mind for a potential future speciality. During my paediatric rotation I also got to shadow doctors in the emergency department, this was my favourite part of the rotation.

Semester 1 bought with it an influx of COVID cases and as a result I got COVID, definitely glad I was fully vaccinated!

Rotary health scholarship has supported me for semester one in several ways. With the increase in cost of living I am very grateful to have the support from the rotary health club. With my family living rurally and having to support myself during my full-time medicine studies, the increased cost of living was stressful. Thankfully the support from rotary means I can continue to study. Additionally, the funds from rotary health assist me with online programs to help my learning. These are very costly but are necessary. I am very grateful to be able to afford these and this is due to the support rotary health provides me.

I would like to thank all rotary health clubs for support Aboriginal students like myself. My goal at the end of my medicine studies is give back to my mob and improve healthcare for Aboriginal people.

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