New graduate reflects on a conference that connects

University of Queensland (UQ) medical student, Sherice Ansell was the recipient of the PHN’s annual sponsorship, which saw her attend the 2019 Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) conference in Darwin.

Ms Ansell, who graduated from UQ at the end of 2019, is a Central/Eastern Arrernte and Anmatyerre woman from Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Ms Ansell said being in the culturally safe space of the AIDA conference allowed her to expand and refine the skills gained throughout her studies.

“I participated in workshops with experienced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous doctors and attended workshops across a range of different topics including trauma scenarios and cultural workshops,” Ms Ansell said.

Ms Ansell sung the praises of conference presenter, ENT surgeon Kelvin Kong. “He is not only an amazing speaker, but his workshop provided valuable information and practical skills when assessing children’s ear health.”

Importantly the conference provided attendees with a culturally safe professional development and networking opportunity.

“(The conference) gave attendees an opportunity to talk about personal and professional problems faced throughout our studies (and in our) workplaces and gave us the opportunity to brainstorm possible solutions for these problems,” she said.

Ms Ansell intends on attending the AIDA conference again at the end of 2020. "I look forward to attending as an intern; I can continue building my own personal network and be part of the ever-growing number of Indigenous doctors across Australia."

Pictured above: Sherice Ansell at the UQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit sashing ceremony in 2019. Photo courtesy of UQ Communications.