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Andrew Julian, 24, is the first student to successfully graduate with the Balnaves scholarship, which is specifically aimed at supporting Indigenous medical students successfully complete their degree, and assisting in Closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Mr Julian's successful completion of the scholarship serves as a reminder that there are fewer than 200 practising doctors from an Indigenous background.
Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, director of the Muru Marri Indigenous health unit at University of New South Wales says Australia is behind in terms of practising Indigenous doctors, and reflects on the importance of Indigenous doctors for Indigenous patients. 'Having Aboriginal doctors allows Aboriginal people to recognise and know that there are people out there that are just like them but know the story, know the background and know what they need to do to get some care.'
Mr Julian, who professed an interest in medicine from a young age, says he is interested in working in Indigenous health in the future. '...Putting back into the Indigenous community - whether that's working in a rural area or you know, helping out in metropolitan, it's definitely a goal of mine and it's something I will be doing,' he said.
Source: ABC News