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2006 Indigenous Peoples' Medical Scholarship.



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Australian Medical Association Limited ABN 37 008 426 793

42 Macquarie Street, Barton ACT 2600: PO Box 6090, Kingston ACT 2604 Telephone: (02) 6270 5400 Facsimile (02) 6270 5499 Website : http://www.ama.com.au/

2006 INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ MEDICAL SCHOLARSHIP

AMA President, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, today awarded the AMA’s Indigenous Peoples’ Medical Scholarships to Felicity Chapman and Beth Kervin, both third year medical students at the University of New South Wales.

The scholarships, valued at $9,000 each, aim to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are potential leaders in the field of medicine, especially in Indigenous health.

Dr Haikerwal said it’s important for young Australians, particularly young Indigenous people, to always aim high and consider a career in medicine.

“Australia needs more Indigenous doctors,” Dr Haikerwal said.

“Around 2.4 per cent of the Australian population is Indigenous and the medical workforce should reflect this number.

“I hope the AMA’s scholarships help in some small way to attract Indigenous kids to medicine,” Dr Haikerwal said.

Felicity Chapman, who completed high school in Grafton, said she’d never thought going to university to study medicine was a possibility but started thinking about it when she heard about the Indigenous Entry Program during year 12.

“Studying medicine is a great enjoyment. I will be able to give back to my community,” Ms Chapman said.

“Seeing the work of my Indigenous grandmother and my aunty, both registered nurses, in remote communities in the Northern Territory, at Aboriginal Medical Services, and in mainstream services, has been a great inspiration in terms of the value of working in health for our mob.

“Having grown up in rural Australia, I certainly will be returning to the bush when I graduate.

“I am excited about the prospect of working in our Aboriginal Medical Services, working with elders to integrate our mob’s understanding of health and healing into the way in which I approach medicine,” Ms Chapman said.

Beth Kervin was also inspired by the Indigenous Entry Program during year 12.

“If a population is to be successful and prosperous, the first thing they need is their health,” she said.

This year her research project will focus on the public health impact of Otitis Media in young Indigenous children.

“I would like to spend time working in the Northern Territory and on the land that my people came from in Guyra. I also aim to work with the Aboriginal people in my local area of South West Sydney.

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“It is so important to encourage Indigenous people, who have an enormous potential to make a difference to their own lives and the lives of the people around them, through both active encouragement and by simply being an example,” Ms Kervin said.

The AMA scholarships, which have been in operation since 1999, were established with a contribution from the Australian Government and is supported by American Express.

Photographs are available on request. Please call Judith Tokley on 0408 824 306.

9 February 2006

CONTACT: Felicity Chapman 0429 994 903 Beth Kervin 0400 338 661

Judith Tokley (02) 6270 5471 / 0408 824 306