1. What year did you graduate VHS? 2010
2. Where are you working now and in what role?
- I’m a Doctor at Westmead Hospital, Sydney – currently training in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology speciality. This involves working with pregnant women and in women’s reproductive health more broadly.
3. What do you love about your job?
- In my role I have the privilege of delivery babies during complicated pregnancies and labours – which includes caesarean sections and instrumental deliveries. This role is unique as we have not one, but two (mum and baby) lives that we are responsible for. This definitely creates a very high paced and stressful work environment, but one that is without a doubt, incredibly eye opening and extremely rewarding. I also love the continuity of care we have with our patients. This allows me to care for women with high risk pregnancies from their very first appointment, right up until the day they deliver their baby.
4. Did anyone at VHS inspire you to follow your chosen career path?
- Whilst I wasn’t inspired to do this particular career path, there were many influential teachers and mentors from VHS who encouraged and helped me recognise my potential academically.
Mr Proudfoot – who initially got me on track academically and taught me to love learning and studying.
The SIPS crew incl. Mrs Lane, Aunty Gai and Rachel Davidge who really spring boarded me into tertiary education. Without them the pursuit of higher education wouldn’t have even been consider – I was fortunate that they had linked me up with the Indigenous Unit at The University of New South Wales.
5. Did you have many challenges to get to where you are now?
My path is unique and one that was fraught with many adversities.
Firstly, I couldn’t fathom the idea of attending university let alone completing a medical degree. Fortunately, with the help of the inspirational people mentioned above I gained the confidence to take on this challenge. Leaving my family and friends at home, and the financial burden involved in moving out of home at the age of 18 to the big (and expensive) smoke were definitely the most difficult of challenges to overcome. Lastly, the burden of study; overall, I studied at UNSW for 7 years total (Bachelor of Exercise Physiology 1 year and 6 years of Doctor of Medicine), which is longer than high school! The emotional burden to deal with constant stressors of lectures, exams and assessments was extremely testing, almost reaching breaking point more times than I can count. However, by remaining focused on the end goal, whilst keeping the right supports around me, I was able to get through one of the most challenging degrees relatively unscathed.
Nonetheless, as intimidating as these challenges were, they have helped me develop resilience and adaptability, traits that have since assisted in the completion of my degree, and even now in my workplace.
6. Do you have any advice for our current students?
Although it sounds cliché - the sky is truly the limit and convincing yourself of this is the first step! Sometimes it takes stepping right outside of your comfort zone to grow both professionally and personally, and seeking opportunities that you typically would not consider as a rural student will foster growth in all aspects of your life.