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1 May 2017
The winner of the 2017 Young Achiever Awards, RDWA Rural Health Award, is Emma Kelly, 22.
Emma is a fifth year medical student, originally from Wudinna on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
Among her achievements is the initiation of the Yalata Kidney Health Festival in 2016.
“In 2016 I worked with AURHA and Dr Jill Benson to establish the AURHA Yalata Kidney Health Festival, an outreach involving medical and nursing students travelling to Yalata to teach the school children and wider community about the importance of kidney health and the impact of renal disease and diabetes,” said Ms Kelly.
She continues to co-ordinate the program and hopes to expand to involve other Indigenous communities in South Australia and Western Australia.
Emma intends to practice medicine as a rural GP.
“Growing up in a rural area, in a small town called Wudinna which has a population of 600, I have always thought, I would return to a rural area in the future.
Emma’s first involvement with the RDWA began six years ago when she was a Year 12 student, hoping to study medicine.
“I love the RDWA; I’ve been connected to them since I was a high school student. I attended courses for the UMAT preparation and interview training and I’m now a part of the RDWA student advisory group and attend many of their clinical skills events,” she said.
She’s been a successful participant in the John Flynn Placement Program and has spent three years of medical school working as a mentor for rural background entry medical students.
She’s currently spending her fifth year placement in Port Lincoln.
“I am passionate about rural and Indigenous health, rural students and policy surrounding rural health issues,” she said.
The CEO of the RDWA, Ms Lyn Poole congratulated Ms Kelly on her achievement saying the RDWA was honoured to be a part of the Young Achiever Awards to recognise young people in rural South Australia who are dedicated to those in need of health services.
“The RDWA is committed to rural doctors and the rural health workforce. We know that the health of country South Australia rests in the hands of these young people. Emma is one of those young people who will make bright the future of rural South Australia,” said Ms Poole.