Conference scholarship for outstanding medical student

Pirpantji Rive-Nelson, a medical student at the University of Queensland, was the recipient of a Brisbane North PHN sponsored-scholarship to attend the 2018 Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) annual conference in Perth.

Mr Rive-Nelson grew up in the remote APY land communities of Irrunytju, Pipalyatjara, and Kalka, and is now a final-year medical student at the University of Queensland’s Rural Medical School in Toowoomba.

Mr Rive-Nelson said attending the AIDA conference allowed him to take part in networking and professional development opportunities.

“I have attended all AIDA conferences as a student and I am building professional relationships and bonds with many of the members whom inspire me to continue my studies,” Mr Rive-Nelson said.

“I was able to take part in small group discussions with fellow Indigenous medical students on issues and challenges that we encounter during our medical programs. Being able to discuss these issues with my academic community fills me with motivation and drive to complete my studies, which conclude at the end of this year,” he said.

Once practicing, Mr Rive-Nelson hopes to assist Pitjantjatjara speaking patients—and his colleagues—by being a clinician who is able to navigate both English and Pitjantjatjara languages and cultures.

Fewer than 300 doctors working in Australia identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, representing 0.3 per cent of the workforce.

For more information on the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association go to: https://www.aida.org.au