10 December 2009

Among the almost 900 new graduates to be injected into the health system by The University of Queensland this week is a young doctor who has already been recognised as a leader.

Medical graduate Danielle Arabena is an award winning student who was recently honoured at the national Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education Connection Conference.

The award recognises a student who has been involved in leadership activity, supporting fellow students in the university setting and participation in Indigenous medical education forums.

Danielle is a descendant of the Meriam people in the Torres Strait and is passionate about practicing medicine and contributing to the community.

She studied medicine as a mature aged student while raising her children. Tomorrow (Friday), she will graduate in a cohort of over 300 University of Queensland-educated doctors.

“As I reach the end of my medical degree, I am proud of not only my achievements but of the achievements of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students,” Ms Arabena said.

She will graduate alongside two other Indigenous students. A further six Indigenous students are enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery program.

Also graduating this week, are nurses, midwives, dentists, oral therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, audiologists and health professionals in the areas of human movement studies and health sciences.

The total number of UQ health graduates is almost 1200. This includes postgraduate coursework and research higher degree students across a range of disciplines, such as mental health, public health, advanced pharmacy practice and sports medicine. Six nurse practitioners – a still emerging health profession – will also graduate.

Nursing students and Bachelor of Health Sciences graduates attended ceremonies at the Ipswich Civic Centre on Wednesday. Most health students will graduate this Friday at ceremonies at the St Lucia Campus. The ceremony for students in dentistry, human movement studies, pharmacy and population health will be held at 11am. Medicine students will graduate at 2pm and health and rehabilitation sciences students at 6pm.

Media: Brian Mallon, School of Medicine Marketing and Communications Officer (0403 621 109).