2015 Indigenous Medical Scholarship Winner - India Latimore

18 Jun 2015

The 2015 AMA Indigenous Peoples’ Medical Scholarship has been awarded to India Latimore at the 2015 AMA National Conference.

AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler said the scholarship was designed to encourage and support Indigenous students who are preparing for careers in medicine, particularly those intending to work in Indigenous communities.

“The AMA understands and supports the unique contribution Indigenous health professionals and Aboriginal-controlled health services can make to close the gap and improve the health of Indigenous people,” A/Prof Owler said.

From an early age, AMA Indigenous Peoples’ Medical Scholarship winner India Latimore has felt compelled to try and make a difference after growing up witnessing first-hand the health problems and inequalities experienced by Indigenous communities.

“The idea of sewing dresses at school didn’t seem as useful as maybe learning how to sew people up, so I left school and started volunteering at my local Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS)” Ms Latimore said.

“At the AMS, I saw the dire consequences of patients not returning for treatment because their doctors didn’t have an understanding of the cultural sensitivities and cultural differences of the Indigenous community.”

Ms Latimore, a proud descendant of the Worimi people, realised her passion for medicine after travelling around Australia with her family, during which time she witnessed the difficulties experienced by Aboriginal patients in remote Indigenous communities.

“By becoming a doctor, I hope to change this. I don’t want to just be a doctor, but a doctor who provides culturally sensitive and respectful care.

“I want to be an educator and a mentor, creating positive change to the health and wellbeing of my people, wherever that is most needed.

“It is paramount that we dedicate time and energy to focus on health education for Aboriginal children and youth, as they are the key to our better future.”

“Success doesn’t come to you… you go to it.” Ms Latimore said.

Ms Latimore has a passion for health education and hopes to work with children and young adults to help foster healthier lifestyles and reduce the incidence of chronic preventable diseases. As part of this, Ms Latimore will work as a foster carer for Aboriginal children during her university breaks.

The scholarship was established in 1995 with a contribution from the Commonwealth Government.