Creating opportunities for Indigenous students in medicine and health sciences

I am the youngest child of a family of eight consisting of six boys and two girls. My father is Aboriginal (Nukunu/Ngadjuri) and is now deceased. My mother is of Anglo-Saxon ancestry and is still living.

We lived for many years on the outskirts of Port Augusta as fringe dwellers. This unfortunately was the life and cruel conditions afforded to Aboriginal people under the assimilation policy that also involved the segregation of Aboriginal people. This all changed in the 1960s when we moved into a flash house in the Port Augusta suburb of Willsden among the mainstream people. It was smaller than our old house, but somehow we all fitted in. Our other house was condemned, deemed not suitable for human occupation. It was dug into the sandhills, with separate rooms and a poorly assembled flat roof covered by a thin layer of red sand. Consequently, people living where and how we lived were referred to as the “sandhill savages”.