Indigenous Health Scholarship 2019
Monash University, VIC
Bachelor of Physiotherapy
Scholarship Awarded 2019
Rotary Club of Waverley/Dr K Gan
How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
For the last few years of school, I knew that I wanted to work in the health industry, but I never quite knew where I would fit in and best be able to make a difference. Fresh out of high school I chose to study Physiotherapy. A few months into the course I was unsure of my decision, but after completing one year of study I decided to take a break and find out what I really wanted to do. To be 100% honest I thought I would never return to study physiotherapy.
Two years later, I made the decision to return to study physiotherapy. After a few unique experiences and having the opportunity to work in a physiotherapy practice, as well as having many people support me and say they were on my side, my passion was renewed. I am now returning to complete my degree and to know that once it is finished, I will be able to help others to the best of my ability. I have chosen to pursue a career where I can have an ongoing relationship with my clients, and really have the ability to get to know and care for them.
As we know, there is a large inequality in terms of health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Although suffering worse health, Indigenous people generally have less access to health care services. There are physiotherapy interventions that exit for some of the most common health problems in the Indigenous community – arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease and health disease, and through increased access to physiotherapy services, we can begin to close the gap in terms of health inequality. There is a real need for preventative physiotherapy, as well as ongoing care of conditions.
When I complete my degree, I would like to work in a regional, rural or remote community, promoting Indigenous health, including preventative care, through education and various programs. I would like to be a role model, and encourage others, as I know that without the support of others I may not have continued in my course. This will increase the number of Indigenous Allied Health professionals and help to address the issue of limited access to Indigenous practitioners and physiotherapy services.