Dina Saulo is undertaking a two year placement at the Kirby Institute as part of the MAE program
In February 2013 I was awarded the Leonard Broom scholarship in combination with a scholarship from the Indigenous Offender Health - Capacity Building Group at the Kirby Institute, UNSW. Both scholarships were awarded to undertake a Masters in Philosophy (Applied Epidemiology) (MAE) at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health (NCEPH), Australian National University (ANU).
Receiving both scholarships has given me the opportunity to build on my past experience in public health, where I have worked with marginalised populations and focused on sexual health and blood borne viruses. A two year placement at the Kirby Institute as part of the MAE program will allow me to hone my skills and gain knowledge from experts in the field while learning practical applications of epidemiology in the public health sphere. During this time I will undertake four major projects; evaluation of the national prison entrants blood borne virus survey (NPEBBVS), analysis of Indigenous specific Hepatitis C data from NPEBBVS, participate in an outbreak investigation and work in collaboration with a cohort of experienced investigators on a larger epidemiological study to analyse the impact of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine on HPV genotypes among Indigenous woman.
The Leonard Broom Scholarship has provided me with a number of academic, personal and professional experiences that will be meaningful to me throughout my degree and beyond. The processes I have had the opportunity to engage in so far, including field placement in the Justice health research program at the Kirby Institute in Sydney and course work components at the Australian National University in Canberra, have been unique both in exposing me to a range of people from different professional backgrounds and academic experiences whilst allowing me to learn from my supervisors, experts in the field and peers.
Both NCEPH and the Kirby Institute provide me with the necessary joint learning environment to be successful in my studies. The Broom Scholarship has been pivotal to these opportunities.
I am driven by the ongoing inequitable health experienced by many Indigenous Australians. The support I have received and awards like the Leonard Broom Scholarship afford Indigenous people to undertake further education and experiences, contribute to building strong and vital Indigenous voices among the Australian healthcare landscape.