Five Indigenous women were among 206 students to graduate as doctors at a ceremony held last week in The University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall.
Tamisha King, Adriane Houghton, Heather Kessaris and Kelly Langford were awarded a Doctor of Medicine and Shauna Hill was awarded a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
Dr King, a Karajarri woman from the Kimberley region, completed her Rural Clinical School placement in Kununurra as well as electives in Melbourne and internship preparation in Broome.
Before enrolling in the MD she completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Anatomy and Human Biology, and Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, winning several academic awards. She was also an active member of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) and WA Medical Students’ Society (WAMSS) Indigenous Representative in 2016. Dr King will start work as an intern at Royal Perth Hospital next month.
Dr Houghton, a Ngarluma Yindjibarndi woman from Port Hedland, completed UWA’s Aboriginal Orientation Course in 2002 through the School of Indigenous Studies and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geography. After graduating she worked in labs and chemical analysis for Woodside in Karratha for six years before enrolling in the MD.
Dr Houghton completed her Rural Clinical School placement in Port Hedland and was Rural Health West’s first Aboriginal Ambassador. The single mother with two children aged six and 10 will take up an internship at Royal Perth Hospital next month.
Dr Kessaris, an Alawa and Marra woman from the Northern Territory, completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing and Population Health before enrolling in the MD. Also a member of AIDA, she represented UWA and AIDA at the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress (PRIDoC) in Hawaii this year and was also a WAMSS Indigenous Representative in 2016.
Originally from Cairns in Queensland, Dr Langford graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Anatomy and Human Biology and Economics before enrolling in the MD. In 2017 she completed her Rural Clinical School placement in Broome. Dr Langford is a Badjala woman from Fraser Island and Darraba woman from Starcke, Cape York.
The same year she also received the 2017 national LIMElight Award for Excellence in Indigenous Health Education Student Leadership for her contribution to the understanding of Indigenous health education to her peers, promoting rural and remote health careers and advocating for improvements to the health of Indigenous people in rural and remote communities. Dr Langford will start her internship at Fiona Stanley Hospital next month.
Dr Hill, a Yamatji-Noongar woman who was born and raised in Perth, completed UWA’s Aboriginal Orientation Course in 2002 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Political science and International Relations. She took up a graduate position in Canberra before returning to Perth to work for an Aboriginal organisation and a research officer at UWA’s Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health.
Dr Hill then enrolled in the graduate entry Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, also representing UWA and AIDA at PRIDoC in Hawaii this year. The single mother of three children aged 13, 19 and 20 will take up an internship next month at Royal Perth Hospital.
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I wish you all a wonderful Xmas and break and a Happy New Year I look forward to receiving the NACCHO Posts they are always so informative and in the development of the Tasmanian Aboriginal History Timeline in the School of Medicine launched in September 2019 the main theme is social Determinates of Health, the Aboriginal History Timeline came about because of the then Head of School asked myself and Maureen Davey to come up with suggestions to make the School more Aboriginal friendly and Welcoming. As there was only fragments of a white history within the School environment was built, and our history or presence now was not mentioned. The motive behind the development of the timeline is because if the Medical students, Academics or other health professionals donât know our History how are they going to be able to provide a more holistic approach when teaching and or treating Aboriginal community members.
Aboriginal Health Careers Promotion Officer,
Division of Medicine, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 34
Medical Sciences Precinct, 243-05
Hobart, TAS 7000
Phone: 03 62262707
Mobile: 0428 778 223
We acknowledge the palawa/pakana people upon whose lands the University of Tasmania stands
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