Selma Kum Sing

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2018

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

I started out very well in Biostatistics with very good results in both tests.  The intensive provided at Deakin have been reduced to two per semester which only gave 1.5 days per week (1 week for face to face intensive) to work through Biostatistics.  The final assessment was an exam which I found harder than I thought it would be.  There was lack of communication about the exam being ‘open book’ we were advised by the lecturer it was not open book only to find out on the day it was an open book exam.  Although I studied hard for the exam I would of done much better knowing I could have some resources available to help me.

The Minor Project Thesis Part A turned out  to be a great opportunity to further develop my research question.  I have decided to develop a research proposal for my Minor Thesis.  The initial literature review did not support my original ideas and thoughts about my research however the time invested talking to past students and my supervisor helped me immensely to adjust my research question which has provided more information and research to formulate my proposal.   In a nutshell, my project is a mixed method research study evaluating indigenous family’s experiences of online health programs, has this improved their engagement with health services, making informed decisions and overall improved health outcomes.

Trimester 2 I have enrolled in Minor Project Part B & Health Evaluation Program.  These are the final two subjects I need to complete before I finish MPH.   Given the situation at home I could not give my final assessment 100% devotion of my attention.  This defer will not stop me from working on the assessment, now I would no time constraints and be fully prepared and ready for 2019.    I also picked up my last subject Health Program Evaluation, to date has been a very useful subject to apply my learning to my minor project.  In retrospective, I’m glad that I have deferred from Minor Project Part B this trimester as Health Program Evaluation is a very important component of my research proposal, I can elaborate on these elements further in my project. I am also working to achieve very high results in this subject.