Megan Torpey
Megan Torpey

Megan Torpey

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2022

University of New South Wales, NSW
Charles Sturt University, NSW

Scholarship Awarded 2019

Sponsored by:
Keith Henning ‘City to Surf’

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

Aboriginal community controlled organisations and community members alike have long been campaigning for the importance and necessity for autonomy and culturally appropriate care in the healthcare sector. With growing epidemics across all aspects of health, we as Indigenous Australians not only suffer increased rates of mortality and morbidity than other non-Indigenous peers, but we are also affected by the often inappropriate and inadequate care that we do receive. Through the combination of my previous public health training (Master of Public Health) and experience working in the Indigenous Health sector I hope to combine my medical degree to add to the breadth of my skills, allowing me to treat and medically care for my people as well as play a role in educating and preventing inappropriate and inequitable health outcomes within our mainstream health communities. Through these efforts, I hope to ensure that Indigenous patients experience evidence based medical care that is also culturally appropriate, empowering and compassionate.

My interest to participate and contribute to culturally appropriate healthcare largely stems from my family’s own personal story of child removal and forced adoption. Such trauma has ignited a commitment in me to challenge past Australian policies which are both grossly outdated and radically inappropriate in their lack of acknowledgement of Indigenous health need and ways.

I will use my role in this space to educate others around me to improve the knowledge and expertise that mainstream teams have, to provide other appropriately trained professionals that we Koori doctors can work alongside ensuring culturally safe practices across all aspects of care.

Current Progressive Report

Currently, I am in the final stages of my yearlong Independent Learning Project (ILP). I am conducting research in partnership with the local Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service. This research titled: an Exploration of the barriers and enablers surrounding discharge of Aboriginal clients from Albury Wodonga Health (AWH) Service to Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS). This research is part of the 4th year curriculum at UNSW Medicine.

It has been a time of change for me, to step outside the highly structured medical science curriculum of previous years into a self-directed learning experience. Having the autonomy to undertake this research project has had its triumphs and challenges! I have learnt so much, and it has been a pleasure to privilege the voices and needs of the local Indigenous community here. Our aim is that this investigation will guide future conversations between the local Indigenous community, namely AWAHS and the hospital decision makers to form better discharge processes and culturally appropriate continuity of care.

The next steps for me this year include participation in the 4-week Clinical Transition Course Which will prepare me for the final Phase 3 of the medical degree. I will continue my final stages of postgraduate study in Albury. Thank you again to all the wonderful people from Rotary who continue to support my learning.

Support Us