Biomedical graduateMonique Saunders has always wanted to be a doctor. Now she’s firmly on the way to realising her dream after being accepted into Griffith’s Graduate Entry Medicine Program.

“Biomed was a perfect pathway for entering medicine as it provides an overall grounding in anatomy, biology and physiology,’’ said the GUNGGARI woman from South West Queensland, one of four Griffith University First Peoples students to undertake the medicine program in 2017.

“The support I received from the GUMURRII Student Support Unit was absolutely awesome and I am grateful for their help.”

Bachelor of Exercise Science graduate Julian Conboy, a Torres Strait Islander from Sai Bai Island, has also been accepted into Griffith’s Graduate Entry Medicine Program.

Julian Conboy 2

“My grades definitely improved due to the support and tutoring from GUMURRII while completing my Bachelor’s,’’ he said.

“GUMURRII also gave me the opportunity to work for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience and I hope to continue this through my postgraduate study.”

This year 118 First Peoples students will graduate from Griffith University, the largest cohort to date.

Student support

GUMURRII Student Support Unit Shane Barnes is delighted by this number.

“Griffith is committed to increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and this is underpinned by the University’ Reconciliation Action Plan,” he said.

“Now in its 29th year of operation, GUMURRII provides extensive academic support for all our students on our five campuses.

“GUMURRII is focused on life-long learning, which enables students to experience social and cultural activities and access computer labs, study rooms and personal learning support.”

Nursing focus

Professor Roianne West, Director of the First Peoples Health Unit said the greatest number of First Peoples students are enrolled in Griffith Health with the largest number of students enrolled in the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

“This year we are proud to celebrate the graduation of 11 nursing students and two midwifery students,’’ she said.

“Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students have a strong obligation and commitment to making a difference in the health of their communities.

“They strongly believe that becoming a nurse and a midwife is the best way to do that.”

Julian, a keen rugby league player who has represented Griffith at the Indigenous Uni Games, wants to work in a sporting environment in rural or remote communities when he graduates.

“I want to be a positive role model for young Indigenous players,” he said.

Monique 3

And for Monique, who wants to be a paediatrician helping to improve the health of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children, that goal is well within reach.