Improvements to health systems in rural and remote areas will be the focus for The University of Western Australia’s student Richard O’Halloran as a winner of the 2017 Rhodes Scholarship.
Mr O’Halloran will take his passion for affordable healthcare to Oxford University where he will study a MSc in Global Health Sciences and a Masters in Public Policy on a two year scholarship.
Mr O’Halloran, 24, of Shenton Park completed a Bachelor of Medical Science with First Class Honours and will complete a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Economics.
He joins a distinguished group of UWA Rhodes Scholars, including former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, former WA Premier Geoff Gallop, the late David Malcolm, former WA Chief Justice and Australian business leader Sir Rod Eddington.
Professor Dawn Freshwater, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor said she was delighted Mr O’Halloran had received UWAs 102nd Rhodes Scholarship in 103 years.
“Mr O’Halloran’s selection to study at Oxford recognises an extraordinary level of ambition and achievement. His area of interest in rural healthcare will be beneficial for Western Australia’s ongoing ambition to provide affordable and innovative treatment for all.”
Mr O’Halloran said he was extremely excited to receive the scholarship and enticed by the challenges ahead.
“I’m just really excited, it’s an amazing opportunity to be able to go to a leading medical research institution. It’s a little bit surreal at this stage it’s still sinking in” he said.
“The world is a rapidly changing place so I’m going to get a toolkit so I can come back and use that. I see my role in improving the way we provide healthcare and the systems in place in Western Australia.”
Mr O’Halloran spent a year in Kununurra with the Rural Clinical School, spending time in some of the state’s most isolated communities including Warmun and Kalumburu.
“I saw significant disadvantage that many members of the Western Australian community still experience and particularly Aboriginal Australians.”
“My rural experience has fostered a strong desire to help improve healthcare outcomes through clinical practice, research and policy.”
David Stacey (UWA Media and PR Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716