Medicines Australia announces $150,000 sponsorship of indigenous medical students

Medicines Australia today announced a $150,000 sponsorship of two young indigenous medical students at the University of New South Wales.

The sponsorship, through the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship Program, will cover tuition and full board at Shalom College over the next five years for second-year medical students Laura Fitzgerald, from Canberra, and Brendan Phillips, from Coffs Harbour.

Medicines Australia chairman Will Delaat said the sponsorship follows the industry’s $1 million donation in February to indigenous health initiatives to promote healthy eating and provide a mobile renal dialysis unit for indigenous Australians in the western desert.

“Medicines Australia is committed to supporting initiatives that will make a practical, on the-ground difference to the lives of indigenous Australians,” Mr Delaat said.

“The 17-year gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians is a shameful situation. We as a community must do all we can to change it.

“I hope this sponsorship will help two talented young indigenous Australians to realise their dreams and become qualified and successful medical practitioners.

“Medicines Australia recognises the urgent need to improve indigenous health outcomes and fully supports the recruitment and training of more indigenous doctors.

“We have a chronic shortage of GPs in Australia but in training the next generation of doctors, it is very important that we bring though more indigenous doctors.

“Indigenous Australians are severely underrepresented in the medical profession and schemes like the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship program do an excellent job in redressing that imbalance.

“I have no doubt that Laura and Brendan will help carry a torch for aspiring indigenous doctors and I wish them every success with their studies.”


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