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AMA Indigenous peoples' scholarship winner wants to close the gap in health inequalities

03 Sep 2013

A young Indigenous woman who has embraced the fight to close the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has won the AMA Indigenous Peoples’ Medical Scholarship for 2013.

Ngaree Blow, a third year Doctor of Medicine student at the University of Melbourne, said she wants to see improvements in the health inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“I want to work with my community and other Indigenous communities because I am proud of my culture,” Ms Blow said.

“I want to see changes in health outcomes to decrease the significant amount of grief and loss for my family and my community, and I want to see greater opportunities for my people in areas such as education.

“Having a healthier community means that there are a lot more opportunities for equality in all aspects of Australian life.”

Ngaree was not accepted into medicine upon completing school. She knew she wanted to be a doctor, so chose to do a Bachelor of Science degree to keep her options open.

While studying Science, her older brother died from a congenital heart disease, an event that re-energised her desire to become a doctor. She was later accepted to study Medicine at the University of Melbourne.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, awarded Ngaree Blow, the scholarship today, in Melbourne.

Valued at $9000 for each year of study, the scholarship provides support and encouragement for Indigenous students studying medicine.

Dr Hambleton said the scholarship is designed to encourage and support Indigenous students prepare for their careers in medicine, particularly in Indigenous health.

“The AMA acknowledges the unique contribution of Indigenous health professionals to improve health outcomes of Indigenous people,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Assisting Indigenous medical students to complete their studies is a positive step toward ensuring there are more Indigenous doctors to serve their communities.”

 


3 September 2013

CONTACT:                        John Flannery                           02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                                            Kirsty Waterford                       02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753 


Published: 03 Sep 2013