As part of NAIDOC Week, UWA would like to acknowledge the achievement of UWA Graduate Dr Gemma Johnston who was awarded Tertiary Scholar of the Year for 2015, recently at the NAIDOC Awards night.
NAIDOC Week, runs between 5 and 12 July and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements.
Gemma graduated from the University of Western Australia in March 2015 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. She is currently an intern at Fiona Stanley Hospital and is one of the first Torres Strait Islander doctors to qualify in Western Australia.
During her studies at UWA, Gemma was a role model for other Indigenous students, especially those in Medicine or planning to study Medicine at UWA. In 2008 Gemma was awarded the AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship and later, an Australian Rotary Health Foundation Scholarship. While studying, Gemma was on the national committee of Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) as a student representative. She has been a role model for the other students in Medicine and as an Indigenous medical student, represented other Indigenous medical students on the WA Medical Students Society (WAMSS) as well as AIDA. Over several years, Gemma participated in the School of Indigenous Studies’ Outreach program especially in the Year 10 Science camp to encourage Aboriginal high school students to consider Science and particularly Medicine as a career.
Another UWA graduate, Taliah Payne also competed in the Miss NAIDOC Awards and was awarded Miss NAIDOC Runner up. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in March this year and is employed as Aboriginal Engagement Coordinator with a Civil and Mining contractor. Science student, Brianna Ozies from Derby also competed in Miss NAIDOC this year.