Two local Indigenous people shared their inspirational success stories at a networking event in Mount Isa on Friday.
Dr Marjad Page and Professor Roianne West spoke about themselves and highlighted the importance of Indigenous participation in tertiary education at the event at Garden Terrace.
Dr Page is a proud descendent of the Ganggalidda, Waanyi and Kalkadoon tribes who lives and works on country and who graduated with a Bachelor of Human Movement Science from CQUniversity in 2002.
He went on to further his studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery from James Cook University and a Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM) with advanced skills in Palliative Care, Obstetrics and Gynecology.
He is currently obtaining advanced skills in Anesthetics. Dr Page has a passion for his people and has returned to his community in Mountt Isa to help bridge the gap within the health system.
Professor Roianne West was born and raised on her grandmother’s country where Mount Isa now resides and has over 20 years’ experience in Aboriginal health, commencing as a health worker at the old Inilinji Health Clinic.
In 1999, she graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing (Deakin University) at Mount Isa. In 2008, she graduated with a Masters of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Southern Queensland, and in 2012 a PhD at JCU.
Professor West said her passion was to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from rural and remote communities who may aspire to go to university have every opportunity to do so and she strongly believes that a university-trained Indigenous health workforce is paramount to improvements in Indigenous health outcomes and genuine self-determination in the area.
The event was part of CQUniversity’s Community Aspirations Program (CAP-ED) whose project officer Tasha Lamey said they invited to share their education journeys to help increase Indigenous participation in tertiary education.