Single mother of three Tanaio Anau aspired to become a midwife when she was unable to give birth in her Torres Strait community.

Last year, she applied for, and won, a House Call Doctor’s Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship to help her realise her dream – and now she wants to encourage others to apply for this year’s scholarship before the January 31 deadline. The scholarship, valued at $5000, can be used to put towards academic costs in 2019.

“I found there was a lack of cultural sensitivity and Indigenous education held by the midwives,” Ms Anau said.

“My long-term goal is to bring my midwifery skills and knowledge and invest back in to my community. I want to be a good role model and an inspiration to a lot of young women back home to help them better themselves through education.”

Ms Anau is from Boigu Island, six kilometres from the mainland of Papua New Guinea but 145 kilometres from the closest medical facilities on Thursday island.

Ms Anau said the scholarship helped to ease the financial burden of studying, particularly from a remote community.

“Studying on one of the most remote islands in Australia is very challenging,” Ms Tanaio said.

“I have to leave my place of employment for 10 weeks each year to meet the commitments of clinical placements and residential intensive courses.”

Indigenous health professionals account for 0.3% of the national healthcare workforce, and House Call Doctor State manager Keith Jennings said the scholarship program was created to further opportunities for indigenous students and to support quality health care in Australia.

“At House Call Doctor we recognise the contribution that medical professionals make in ensuring that Australians are happy and healthy, but we also know that there are too few Indigenous health professionals in the workforce and we want to help change that,” he said.

The scholarship is open to students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who are entering at least their second year of a medical/health degree at an Australian university.

For more information, and to apply, head to the House Call Doctor website.

Original Source: Koori Mail | 16 January 2019