Nikaela Genio
Nikaela Genio

Nikaela Genio

Indigenous Health Scholarship

Endeavour Institute, VIC

Bachelor of Health (Myotherapy)
Scholarship Awarded 2019 – 2022

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Geelong Central

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

At a young age I was lucky enough to have the skill and support to participate in sport at an elite level. As a result, I was offered an incredible opportunity to complete a Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness. An opportunity not many get the change to do at the age of 16. Appreciating how advantaged I was, this became my influence/driving force to be able to follow my dreams and continue in the field I had started, loved and thrived on. To achieve this, I had to work hard and earn it, and when you work hard, results and satisfaction are your reward. I want to take my qualifications to the highest level and be the best that I can be. I want to support my people with better outcomes and in return, better lifestyles, enabling them to achieve their goals. To be able to reach for the stars, I want to be the person who can give that hope and chance to others by giving back. As it is well recognised that Aboriginal people face barriers to accessing healthcare.

I believe that the career path I have chosen with my first Bachelor of Exercise Sports Science and now my Bachelor of Health (Myotherapy) will lead me to developing an in depth knowledge of fitness, rehabilitation and massage with a hands on role, in real environment. This will provide me with the professional skills to utilise on others, in a health or fitness area. It has always been my greatest desire to give back to my people who live in remote and rural Indigenous communities that may not have been as fortunate as myself, and plan on visiting these communities once I finish my studying. I want to be able to raise awareness about the increase in obesity, chronic heart disease etc. and help my people do something about it so they can be fit and healthy in their life. I have also been back to my school and encouraged other Indigenous students to believe in themselves and to have a a go at schooling and encouraged them to have a go and take their education further so we can all try to make a difference.

Current Progressive Report

This last six months have been such a relief without any restrictions. It has been so good to be able to be back at Uni and continue to study. Finally after 18 months l have been able to complete another Semester of my course. COVID didn’t affect much of Semester 1 this year. I enjoyed being able to get back and treat clients and learn new techniques. I can’t wait to start my final Semester and get out in the work force.

I was also able to move back to Melbourne in early January. In saying this, it was also sad leaving a position l had been working at during the COVID time last year, when my Uni shut down. While doing some hours as a receptionist in the field l am studying allowed me to gain some valuable insight. But l did get to spend some time back with family

Once back in Melbourne, it also allowed for me to get back into netball and play for a club in Melbourne where l was able to meet some wonderful people. Last year this was cancelled due to COVID restrictions. Being able to be social is so important during these times with COVID. You just don’t know when you will be thrown into a snap lockdown and life just stops.

Currently l have less than six months to go till l graduate and pray to god that COVID does not knock us around again. I really do not feel positive that our University will persevere and push to keep us on track. I hope that we will be supported more than we were last year, but let us hope and stay positive. I see the light at the end of the tunnel but due to COVID it has been a hard fight to get there.

The Support from Rotary has been amazing and has eased the burden.

Extended report for Summer School

2021 saw another year where l only got to complete one semester of my final year due to COVID. I was able to do some online but not enough to graduate, all my Clinic had to be done at Uni and unfortunately that was not possible. The University decided that we would be able to do an intense summer school over 8 weeks from the middle of January with the hope that we will be completed by the first week of March.

It will be nice to be able to spend 3 weeks with family over Christmas when l will have a three week break before returning to Melbourne. No results came from the 2021 second semester as this is part of what will be completed in January/February University will be solid four days to get us through.

During this time l hope to start looking for some work as during those eight intense weeks which will include exams will be impossible to do both. I am nervous but also excited with the thought that it is nearly there.

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