Shanese Friel
Shanese Friel

Shanese Friel

Indigenous Health Scholarship

Deakin University, VIC

Doctor of Medicine
Scholarship Awarded 2023

Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Awarded 2020

Sponsored by:
PDG Joe Scorer Scholarship & RC of Batemans Bay

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

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

As a graduate Registered Nurse, I will play a vital role in educating and providing health to the community through clinically appropriate care that is culturally safe, high quality, responsive and accessible for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

One area of Indigenous health I have strong interest in its rural and remote area nursing. Growing up in Darwin, I began to quickly notice health services in remote area are very different from their regional and metropolitan counterparts. Outside of Darwin and Palmerston, most of Northern Territory is considered remote with many people living on cattle stations or in mining towns and Aboriginal communities. Towns such as Alice Springs or Katherine provide services to the surrounding areas, with facilities being generally smaller but player an important role in the provision of community wide integrated health services. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people living in these areas are more likely than non-Indigenous to have higher rates of chronic conditions, potentially preventable hospitalizations, and lower overall health outcomes. This disadvantage in health may be due to living conditions, social isolation, socioeconomic status and distance from services.

As a graduate Registered Nurse, I aim to continue to address the social inequality and determinants of health that are important to our long term health. Lastly throughout my studies and career, I aspire to embody drive, ambition and persistence to create change to improve Indigenous health outcomes. I need to appoint myself in leadership roles, demonstrate my expertise and knowledge, and work to make changes to our health policy and delivery of service to close the gap.

Current Progressive Report

Last year I completed the requirements for Bachelor of Nursing at Deakin University, NIKERI Institute in Geelong. Reflecting back on my journey, nursing has allowed me to play a vital role in providing care that is culturally safe, high-quality, responsive, and accessible for all, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It has been a journey to this point and one that cannot be done without the support of my family, friends and NIKERI Institute who have supported me over the years, especially during this COVID-19 period.

This year I am honoured to continue my studies at my top preference for medical school in the Doctor of Medicine course at Deakin University. I am currently in Week 4 and it has been an adjustment from nursing to medicine. I’m learning to adapt to a new curriculum and new method of studying/learning. I’m absolutely loving it so far and I can’t wait to update how the rest of the year goes!

I would like to thank the Australian Rotary Health and my sponsor Rotary Club of Bateman Bay, for the ‘PDG Joe Scorer Scholarship’ for your continued support for the past three years during my undergrad. The sponsorship provided has allowed me to purchase the necessary items in my course and focus entirely on my studies. I am very appreciative and grateful for this opportunity.

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