Rory Vocale
Rory Vocale

Rory Vocale

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2022

Deakin University, VIC

Doctor of Medicine
Scholarship Awarded 2020

Sponsored by:
Peter Lewis

Australian Catholic University, NSW

Bachelor of Physiotherapy
Scholarship Awarded 2017 – 2019

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Turramurra

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

For as long as I can remember I have always been passionate about helping others, instilling positive change and guiding people to pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Thankfully, the opportunity ACU has given me to pursue my lifelong career goal builds the foundation for me to achieve these changes I have always wanted to in life by becoming a physiotherapist.

As a future Indigenous physiotherapist, I will use my expertise and skill set to conduct positive health and lifestyle changes within the Indigenous population. After pursuing a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, I soon came to realise that Indigenous Health remained detrimental to the Indigenous population. With this in mind, I decided to move interstate to pursue a degree in Physiotherapy. My career path will enable me to pursue a lifelong goal of mine, which is to reduce the number one factor contributing to Indigenous mortality – Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). The opportunity to rehabilitate and restore mobility and functional capacity within individual’s as a physiotherapist will undoubtedly contribute to improving physical activity, and hence decreasing the onset of CVD.

Through my mentoring and volunteering experiences with Indigenous Australia I have soon come to the realisation that I can be a powerful voice to conduct change. As the first Indigenous school prefect at Geelong Grammar School I was given the opportunity to mentor my other Indigenous peers in their education and lifestyles choices, ultimately aiming to instill health lifestyles. My volunteering projects, including work in the Northern Territory with the Kata-Tjuta community, and pursuing multiple volunteering positions with National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) and the Tranby Indigenous Adult Education & Training Institute has given me a vision and passion for what needs to be done to instill positive healthy lifestyles in Indigenous Australia. In acknowledgement of my passion, promotion and push to improve Indigenous health and education I was elected to be a student ambassador and board member for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture and Student Engagement Committee at Australian Catholic University, within my first year of my degree. I hold all my previous experiences mentoring and volunteering close to my heart as they have provided me with a true experience of my ancestral heritage.

Current Progressive Report

The clinical year I am undertaking in the Doctor of Medicine program has been extremely pleasant. I have expanded and improved my clinical knowledge exponentially thanks to the steep learning curve I have endured throughout this year.

I undertook units in brain behaviour (neurology) and transition to clinical practice (TCP). I received exceptional grades this semester and was most pleased to my strong finish to the pre-clinical year, having received multiple exceeds expectations for the many assessments I endured.

Once again, I had tremendous support from my tutor and other Indigenous medical students at Deakin University. I am thoroughly enjoying my clinical rotations this year, having completed rotations in: Cardiology and Neurology, Paediatrics, Plastics, Orthopaedics, Colorectal surgery, thoracic surgery and general medicine. For 5 out of the 6 rotations, I have received an in-training assessment grade of ‘student is exceeding expectations’ as a global indicator of my clinical knowledge, clinical skills, professionalism and ability to work within teams. I am just about to commence women’s health rotation for 7 weeks and can’t wait for the challenge ahead.

I have continued my casual work as an acute orthopaedic, critical care, general medicine, and in-patient rehab physiotherapist at St. John of God Hospital and now Holmesglen Private Hospital, as it is much closer to home for me. I absolutely love my time working as a physiotherapist and am so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful colleagues. I utilise my time at work as an opportunity to expand my interpersonal skills, rapport building skills and medical knowledge as there is a lot of cross-over between my studies, my work as a physiotherapist and the patients that present on the wards I cover at hospital.

I thank Australian Rotary for their continued support as they have helped me fulfil my goal to become an Indigenous healthcare provider, and now enabling me to further enhance my potential in studying to become an Indigenous doctor. I will continue to utilise the wealth of anatomical & physiological knowledge, interpersonal skills, and maturity I have gained throughout my undergraduate degree and workplace to empower myself to become the best Indigenous doctor I possibly can be. I continue to grow as a person with thanks to the guidance, generosity and mentoring from Australian Rotary Health.

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