A University of Newcastle student whose goal is to improve the health of Indigenous women and children has won a prestigious national medical scholarship.
Glenda Brown, a third-year Bachelor of Medicine student, is determined to be the first Aboriginal doctor to specialise in Indigenous child protection issues.
She received the 2012 Australian Medical Association’s Indigenous People’s Medical Scholarship at an awards ceremony in Melbourne on Saturday.
Ms Brown is a proud Wiradjuri woman from the central west of New South Wales. A mature aged student and mother of one, Ms Brown describes herself as ‘somewhere between 40 and death’.
“Many Aboriginal people from my generation never had the opportunities for an education because of marginalisation and disadvantage growing up, so our education comes later in life,” Ms Brown said.
A former manager of a Queensland child protection agency, Ms Brown most recently worked as an Indigenous child protection liaison officer for the New South Wales Police Force.
She now wants to work within Aboriginal communities in remote and rural areas at a community level.
“I want to address the myths and ignorance surrounding Aboriginal health. Violence in our communities undermines every health care strategy and breeds silence and shame, which affects the whole community.”
Valued at $9000 for each year of study, the scholarship is designed to encourage and support Indigenous medical students, particularly those intending to work in Indigenous communities.
“I would not have been able to achieve what I have if it wasn’t for the fabulous support of the University of Newcastle and everyone at the Wollotuka Institute,” Ms Brown said.