Award winner aims for future in prevention of chronic disease in remote communities
When Soleil White’s year-old daughter fell sick it was the wonderful response by Aboriginal medical service staff that sparked her passion for education and first steps to a career in healthcare.
Fast forward just over 12 months and on 28 September this year Soleil was named the Western Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year at the WA Training Awards hosted by the Department of Training and Workforce Development and State Training Board.
Currently working as a certified Aboriginal primary health care worker with the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, Soleil is studying a Diploma of Nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia in her home town of Broome.
“I wanted to give back and be of help to other people,” Soleil said.
“I believe that if more Aboriginal people are educated, as nurses, doctors, specialists, or surgeons, we will be able to make more of an impact on the community,” she said.
Following graduation next year she plans to pursue a Bachelor of Nursing degree and then work in remote communities in the Kimberly, Arnhem Land and Torres Strait.
“Chronic diseases are extremely high in the regional Aboriginal populations and my goal is to work on preventing them in younger people, said Soleil.
Reflecting on the Student of the Year Award she said she was amazed that a Broome girl could be recognised with a State-wide award.
“It is possible for us, despite living in remote communities, that we can push boundaries and be rewarded for our work,” she said.
As part of the award, Soleil automatically qualified as a finalist in the national training awards and was presented with a cheque for $3000 which she plans to put towards her studies.
Photo: Beth Kennedy