The University of NSW Scholarships Office has awarded the 2017 Skilled Medical Award for Advancement in Indigenous Health to Russell Thompson, a third year medical student at UNSW.
Russell Thompson is from the Kamilaroi community in Tamworth, NSW. Since moving to Sydney to study at UNSW Medicine, he has worked as the UNSW’s Australian Indigenous Doctors Association representative. For over two years, Russell worked with UNSW students to discuss Indigenous issues, advocated for AIDA and worked on several projects regarding resilience and racism which were presented at the LIME conference and placed on AIDA’s website. Currently, Russell is promoting improvements to Aboriginal health through his work as a UNSW lecturer on Indigenous health and as an advocate for UNSW’s Indigenous health reform.
Russell is passionate about addressing, educating, advocating and improving Indigenous health in communities across Australia. Indigenous health is a topic close to his heart and for many years, he has been actively implementing and participating in projects and bodies that contribute to positive health outcomes in his Indigenous community and broader Indigenous communities.
In the future, Russell aspires to follow a surgical pathway and work in Tamworth once his training is completed. Upon graduation, he also aims to apply for the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association’s board so he can actively participate in changing policies in Indigenous health education.
“This scholarship was a shock when I first heard the news of receiving it. I would like to thank the Skilled Medical Team for choosing me as the 2017 recipient, said Russell Thompson. “It is a great honour and the funds will be used to further my career goals in medicine.”
Skilled Medical’s scholarship is a $5,000 award provided on an annual basis to a medical student selected after undertaking work in their local community or communities more generally, that help to improve Aboriginal health.
“The applications were very well prepared and the selection panel was pleased to award Russell Thompson with our scholarship this year,” said Dr David Campbell, Managing Director. “Russell’s passion and contributions are exemplary in promoting positive change to Aboriginal health and I feel sure he will continue to make valuable contributions throughout his medical career.”
The Skilled Medical Award for Advancement in Indigenous Health at the UNSW is funded through the company's Social Responsibility Program.
Skilled Medical UNSW 2017 Award Winner, Russell Thompson