Indigenous Health Scholarship 2019

Deakin University, VIC
Masters of Public Health
Scholarship Awarded 2018
Sponsored by:

Rotary Club of Townsville Daybreak

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

I enrolled as a matured aged student to undertake my studies in Masters of Public Health.   I have always been keen to take on tertiary studies, however, I could not afford the time or financial constraints when I was younger whilst raising my family.   As a mature aged student I have found that this learning experience has been very empowering, rewarding and a fruitful opportunity.   I have personally benefited from studying, gained many positive experiences and contributing to many classroom discussions during my time on this course.    Engaging with fellow Indigenous students has been very insightful, the opportunities to learn from others and being a part of their learning journey has been a very humbling experience.

I was inspired to undertake my studies in Masters in Public Health through my current role as a Community Engagement and Development Officer and previous community sector roles.  My past ten years of employment has been working in rural and remote community settings, improving partnerships across various agencies and working directly with clients, patients and end users of service providers.

I believe that obtaining this qualification will value add and compliment my community development practices.   Public Health concepts and theoretical perspectives provide a rounded approach for working within a population health focus.   My broadened understanding of human rights, health equity, policy and well researched evidence based practices will support my practice and achieve a more comprehensive approach working in communities.

I would like to be seen as a role model, someone who has made changes and someone who can be inspiring and motivational to other people.

Current Progressive Report

One subject to go, my final year of study.

I have enrolled in Minor Project B – Final thesis. As I mentioned in my previous report I was anticipating a 2018 graduation however this was not the case.
I have tried to be diligent and do extra work over the Christmas period, probably not as much as I would of like to but I have completed the pre- reading and reviewed the resources and additional supports to assisting me in completing my thesis. I have commenced the process of conducting my literature review search and hopefully I will have most of my readings completed before I commence trimester 1.

My minor project is a research proposal. I will be developing a research protocol to conduct an evaluation of a web-based resource targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with children diagnosed with permanent hearing loss. The evaluation will assess the effectiveness of the resource outlined in the project objectives. The evaluation will also assess the usability and effectiveness as an educational tool to support hearing sector service partner services engaging with these same families in their local community.

The project topic was identified as a significant piece of my work that will assist research processes in my workplace. The web-based resource Mipla Binna was launched in August 2017. This project sourced funding from the Childrens’ Hospital Foundation at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. The project outcomes required an evaluation of the resource, this piece of work will support my role and the value add to the future of the resource development. Currently there is very limited research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children deaf and or hard of hearing and this research will provide an insight into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples perspective of using online learning resources and how this influences behaviour and health literacy.