On Monday the 29th of May the Royal Flying Doctors Service held their presentation ceremony awarding two IAHA student members with the RFDS Indigenous Health Scholarship Scheme. RFDS scholarships will support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students undertaking remote or rural clinical placements in medicine, nursing, midwifery and allied health.
Fourth-year Occupational Therapy student Amanda Bailey and proud Ngarrindjeri woman who attends the University of South Australia. Amanda received her award from the Hon Minister of Indigenous Health and Ageing and Assistant Minister for Health, the Hon Dr David Gillespie. Amanda who is a mother of four expressed the significance of rural and remote practice, especially in Aboriginal communities. Amanda will complete her final placement in Darwin this year.
Jennifer Mairu also an allied health student received the award. Jennifer is a Torres Strait Islander woman from Badu Island in the Torres Strait and was born and raised on Thursday Island. She is currently studying Bachelor of Social Work at Deakin University and wants to be an advocate to help remove barriers for Indigenous people.
IAHA CEO Donna Murray said “The RFDS scholarships will provide much-needed support for allied health students to undertake a rural or remote clinical placement which is critical for developing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce. This is also an important step in further supporting locally driven workforce development models that provide culturally safe and responsive allied health services with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Congratulations to both Jennifer and Amanda for being the first IAHA members to receive these scholarships, you are both an inspiration and we are excited to hear about your placements in the near future.