Students seeking a healthy option

Traralgon College student Kyralee Murphy this month joined 29 other indigenous senior students from across Australia at an intensive health career awareness program in Canberra.

The year 10 student participated in the inaugural five-day Murra Mullangarri Pathways Alive and Well camp, which was organised by the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association.

The association invited year 10, 11 and 12 indigenous and Torres Strait Island students interested in careers in health to express their interest, and chose 30 of the 200 applicants to participate.

Kyralee, who plans to pursue a career in nursing, said the program intensified her desire to study and broadened her understanding of what career options were available.

“Seeing all the different health careers besides nursing, and hearing other people’s stories made me think I want to learn about medicine and nutrition as well as study nursing,” Kyralee said.

“A lady came in and spoke about nutrition. She said there’s not many indigenous nutritionists out there and I’m interested in teaching people about eating well and exercising.

“We also learned about back-up options and pathways to get into university through TAFE and not to give up.”

The students toured various health-related facilities including the science, medicine and health faculty at the Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Sport, as well as places of cultural significance including the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

“It was fun, and interesting and inspiring and it was also hard. It wasn’t like a holiday; you really had to focus and pay attention,” Kyralee said.

“It’s helped me with choosing subjects next year that are to do with nursing and I know I have to work hard, so I can get into university and have a better opportunity.”