Bachelor of Medicine student Sally Healy, 34 has a self-confessed thirst for knowledge and problem solving.
She chose to study at the University of Newcastle because of its reputation for offering early clinical exposure within the degree and partnerships with renowned training hospitals.
"The clinical opportunities at Newcastle are second-to-none," she said.
"I'm a rural girl and I want to practice in a regional area and take my skills to the bush when I graduate."
As the inaugural recipient of High Achiever Indigenous Student Scholarship, Sally has ongoing support from the staff at the University's Wollotuka Institute and access to a raft of non-financial opportunities such as engaging in summer and overseas exchange programs and access to faculty mentors.
"The best part about university this year is the great friends I have made, plus the tutors and mentors I have engaged with. There is such a diverse group of students within the Joint Medical Program, it is enriching."
Her advice to Year 12 students looking to follow their dreams of becoming a doctor is simple.
"Socrates said 'Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel'," Sally said.
"Learning is a life-long path and the HSC is one hill in that path."
Since completing high school at Rockhampton Grammar School, Sally went on to study a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New England, graduating in 2001.
She is now able to realize her dreams of becoming a medical practitioner through the High Achievers Scholarships program offer at Newcastle.
"I wanted a career where I can help people in a practical way, epically guiding and advising people through difficult times in their lives," Sally said.