What is your dream?
As a future veterinarian, I believe we have a valuable perspective to bring to the field of public
health. Many human diseases are related to animal diseases, and many people, especially in
developing countries, rely on animals for both sustenance and income. We cannot improve human
health and welfare without improving that of animals and our environment. I’m constantly learning,
and committed to taking advantage of every opportunity that will bring me closer to my ultimate
goal: changing the world for the better through improving health outcomes for both humans and
How did you find your passion?
I've always had a burning drive to engage with the world, and a string of experiences have led this to be expressed in the context of health. My mum is a vet, and growing up I loved helping out at our clinic at home. I was also interested in foreign cultures and international development, and spent a year on student exchange and another year travelling before starting an arts degree. It was interesting to discuss the complexities of international issues, but the talk somehow didn’t feel tangible enough. Towards the end of my first year I was helping with an emergency caesarian (always my favourite operation!) and it struck me that health is an absolutely essential and tangible way to improve people’s lives; and that veterinary science would provide a broad but in depth basis to approach health issues. I changed to veterinary science, and went to South America before starting. This reinforced the importance of animals to human health and livelihoods, especially in
communities where they live in close proximity, or are a major source of income or wealth. I still think about a farmer we stayed with in rural Bolivia, and his immense pride and face-splitting grin as he showed us his horses. In 2nd year, I did a research project in the US in epidemiology. This exposed me to a community of people doing great work in diverse areas of science. I became fascinated by the idea that we have the knowledge to address many of the issues we face, if we could only put it into practice. Rabies is the perfect example of this. It is 100% vaccine preventable, yet kills more than 59,000 people around the world each year, almost half of these children under the age of 15. We have the knowledge and technology to eliminate it, but still people continue to die each year because they lack financial resources, awareness or access to preventative measures. I want to better understand how we can put the science and technology available to us into practice
at a political, economic and day to day level. This is my passion: bridging the gap between the potential of science and its real world applications.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
This year I will begin my 4th year of veterinary science, and I'm excited to learn about medicine and surgery. I hope to continue working on a research project in epidemiology, and am helping organize a student trip to do veterinary work in Brazil. I also want to make sure I spend time with my family and friends, and can relax, go to the beach or read a book once in a while. It's going to be a busy year, but I’m looking forward to it!
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
This scholarship has supported my participation in an internship at the World Health Organisation in Geneva, where I worked for 7 weeks in Neglected Zoonotic Diseases. These are diseases like rabies that are transmitted from animals to humans, and that disproportionately affect poor or rural populations. WHO plays a key role in establishing guidelines on managing diseases, and coordinating international efforts to prevent or eliminate them. The internship was an amazing opportunity to experience work at WHO, meet inspiring people, and engage with an organisation dedicated to improving global health.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
Interning at WHO has been an incredible experience. The work is meaningful, I loved doing it and learnt a lot while being surrounded by amazing people. It was awesome!
How important is inspiration in your life?
It's like fuel to the fire! I'm so inspired by people I have met and the work that they are doing. There are so many people working tirelessly to make our world a better place, and I want to be part of that future!
Who’s your hero (and why)?
My mother: she has great strength, flexibility, empathy, judiciousness and an amazing capacity for grace.
How will you support your community in the future?
If the world's population was represented by 100 people on an island, Australians wouldn't even make up a whole person, and only 7 would have a university degree! The amazing privilege we have in our access to education and opportunity wouldn't be possible if there weren't people who support and believe in the potential of younger generations. To whom much is given, much is expected. I hope I can meet and exceed the expectations of those who have supported and encouraged me to be the best I can be, and use my skills, influence and social network to mentor and support the next generation.
What’s the motto that you live by?
We must become the change we wish to see in the world.
Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
Cold watermelon (on a hot day!)
The Count of Monte Cristo
Favourite TV Show?
If you had one message to share with other women chasing their dreams what would you say?
Sometimes you need to be bold...