A BOIGU single mother of three, who wants to help other Indigenous mums have better birthing experiences, was last week awarded the inaugural House Call Doctor Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship. Thirty-two-year old, Tanaio Anau has until now struggled with no home computer and limited money for text books and university expenses.

The House Call Doctor Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship gives Ms Anau $10,000 towards helping with the cost of her Midwifery course at the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane.

“I am truly grateful and humbled to receive this award from House Call Doctor,” she said. “This is going to help me ease the financial burden, especially studying from a remote community. I don’t have a home computer. I don’t have a study desk, printer at home. It was a struggle for me.”

Ms Anau, who is in her second year of an Indigenous Bachelors of Midwifery, was one of more than 100 medical students who applied for the scholarship. House Call Doctor Chief Operating Officer Craig Glover said the judging panel had a difficult decision with so many high – calibre candidates. “Each and every applicant had overcome financial, geographical and, in many cases, educational hurdles to make it to University,” he said.

Ms Anau, who studies remotely from Boigu Island and travels to Brisbane for study and clinical placement for 10 weeks each year, had herself gone back to school to qualify for University. The mother of three – whose children are aged eight, seven and three – said she was determined to study midwifery to help other Indigenous women after she was unable to give birth in her own island community.

“My long-term goal is to bring my midwifery skills and knowledge, and invest back in to my community. And 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.”

Indigenous health professionals account for 0.3 per cent of the national healthcare workforce. House Call Doctor Chief Executive Officer Wayne Ormond said Tanaio Anau’s determination to overcome personal and geographic challenges to study and deliver improved healthcare to her community epitomised why the scholarship program was so important.

“At House Call Doctor, our team believes that healthcare professionals should reflect the diversity of patients they care for.”

“Health experts from diverse backgrounds offer unique perspectives that enable the medical workforce to be more understanding and responsive to patient needs,” Mr Ormond said. Ms Anau was presented with a cheque for $10,000 at a special ceremony at House Call Doctor Place in Brisbane.

“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,” Mr Ormond said.

The 2018 House Call Doctor Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship program will open mid-year.

Original Source: Torres News | Aaron Smith | 20th February 2018.