University of Newcastle holds graduation ceremonies for faculties of health, medicine, science

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Drive for equity in communities pushes students towards success Nicole Whitson. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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Ash Phillips of Hamilton South and Isobel Stoodley of Kotara. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dr Benjamin McMahon of Katoomba in the skinsuit he wore during graduation. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Katrina Bennett of Hamilton North and her baby Charli, 4 months old. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Rebecca Muddle of Singleton, Katie Rae of Caves Beach, and Annabelle Johnson of Singapore. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Brianna Wright of Tamworth tending to her daughter Matilda, 3 months old, while partner Sam Mackey looks on. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Ken Tulk, Ada Jin of Cooks Hill, Meg Tulk and Gary Peters. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Madeline Palmer of North Lambton and Hannah Lipscomb of Tamworth. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jade Tildsley & Alex Dalley of Merewether. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Aleisha Dean of Broadmeadow and her mentor Susan Heaney. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebook University of Newcastle graduation, April 6Almost 3000 students will receive their degrees at the University of Newcastle’s graduation ceremonies this week and next. Pictures: Max Mason-HubersHealth, medicine and science were the focus of the second day of graduationat the University of Newcastleon Friday.

The last of the1570 students scheduled to graduate this week celebrated their achievements at three ceremoniesin the Callaghan campus’ Great Hall.

Nicole Whitson earned herbachelor of medicine with distinction.

The Indigenous woman started universityas an Open Foundation student and the new doctor hopes to one day specialise inobstetrics andgynaecology.

“Seeing my family and the community I lived in struggle with health and barriers in accessing medicine–and kind of the fear in accessing it as well–was kind of a drive for me,” she said.

Read more:Double degree: Mum and son graduate from uni a week apart

“Some of my family members were in health and social work and they gave me a push in the right direction and steered me here.

“As an Indigenous medical student from a large family with little exposure to the tertiary education system, I expected to encounter challenges but I had a lot of support from the university, itsWollotuka Institute, and my husband Elliot.”

Meanwhile, Luke Wakely graduated with a PhD in community medicine and epidemiology.

University of Newcastle graduations. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dr Wakely,a practicing paediatric physiotherapist, said his research focused on the experiences of Indigenous n mothers who had premature babies.

He said he wanted to work to improve health outcomes of young people in rural areas.

Read more:University of Newcastle graduations: Photos (2017)

“I’m passionate about the needs of rural children and helping them out because there’s an incredible inequity there,” he said.

“Kids in rural areas don’t have the same opportunities in health care as kids in other areas –particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids –that’s what I’m passionate about, trying to work towards righting that inequity.”

More graduation ceremonies will take place at the university next week.

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