I was lucky enough to be granted the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme during my third year of university. Prior to this, I was working approximately 4 times a week which helped with funding university related expenses such as textbooks and supplies, a computer and travel. Having university classes approximately 3-4 times a week plus the additional work commitments, the load became very stressful and I felt I did not have enough time to study or put effort into my university work. Being granted the PHMSS allowed me to reduce my hours at work to 1-2 times per week, allowing me to focus on my studies and grades more, which significantly increased. This particularly made a difference in my final year of study when I was completing my honours thesis. Without the PHMSS, I don’t believe I would have been able to put the time and effort in to achieving my goal of first class honours.
My short-term goal once I had finished university was to find full time work as an occupational therapist, preferably with NSW Health. I have been fortunate enough to be offered a position with NSW Health as a community paediatric occupational therapist, which commences February 2020. A long-term goal for me is to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, either as a clinician or as a researcher. I look forward to seeing where my journey as an occupational therapists takes me! For anyone thinking of starting a career in health, definitely do it. A career in health is not only rewarding, but you also have the opportunity to influence and change the health system to be more equitable and inclusive of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.