11 May 2011

University of Queensland final year physiotherapy student Kylie Dunn has received UQ’s first Artius Health Scholarship.

The scholarship, worth $2,500, supports fourth and final year Bachelor of Physiotherapy students with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status or who have experienced educational disadvantage through disability.

After moving back home and quitting her job to commit to her final year studies, Ms Dunn said the scholarship would go a long way.

“This scholarship is a great help because not being able to work this year means there’s more financial pressure,” she said.

“My goal is to get first class honours and having this scholarship will take me closer towards this goal by making my final year less stressful.”

Ms Dunn’s family are the Wodi Wodi people from the Nowra region on the south coast of New South Wales.

Having worked in indigenous education before starting her physiotherapy degree and as the student representative of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physiotherapists (NAATSIP), Ms Dunn said her passion lies in indigenous health.

“I feel really proud when I can represent indigenous students and push indigenous issues because that’s a real priority for me,” she said.

“After my studies, I plan to leave Brisbane and hope to eventually deliver physiotherapy services to remote communities.”

Ms Dunn has previously studied Psychology and Criminology at university, and is combining her knowledge from these disciplines with her physiotherapy skills to conduct research into dementia care.

Managing Director of Artius Health, Paul Stokes said he was excited to be partnering with UQ’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences to offer this new scholarship.

“The scholarship is aimed at helping the students reach their potential, in particular those students who’ve come from disadvantaged backgrounds,” he said.

“Kylie is an outstanding recipient for the scholarship and we hope it will not only alleviate the financial strain of studying final year physio, but will allow her to succeed in her studies and make a smooth transition in to her profession.”

Professor Louise Hickson, Head of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences said she was thrilled to have this new scholarship available and that “it would be a great support for many of our indigenous or educationally disadvantaged physio students in the coming years.”

Media: Ingrid Rubie - UQ Communications (phone: 07 3365 2619 or i.rubie@uq.edu.au)