Media release

AMA announces 2022 Indigenous Medical Scholarship recipients

Indigenous medical students Malissa Hodgson and Cameron Howard have received this year’s AMA Indigenous medical scholarships.

Malissa Hodgson

The scholarships provide recipients with $10,000 per year during the course of their study and are made possible through the generosity of AMA members and other donors. 

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said presenting the Indigenous medical scholarships was one of the most enjoyable parts of his presidency.

“I congratulate Malissa and Cameron and wish them well in their studies and for their careers ahead in medicine,” Dr Khorshid said.

“The gap between life expectancy and health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is still shameful and requires real action from all levels of government, the private and corporate sectors, and all segments of our community.

“The AMA scholarships are a small but tangible step towards growing the Indigenous health workforce, and closing the gap.”

Malissa Hodgson is Arrernte, Pitjantjatjara, Nunkuntjatjara, Keytej, Arabana, and Meriam woman and is from Alice Springs. She is studying for a Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine at the University of New England.

Advocating for the medical needs of her family throughout her life, Ms Hodgson says seeing how the system did not adequately support Aboriginal patients inspired her to seek a seat at the table to help improve things.

“It became clear to me very quickly that you can’t do anything without your health. This, and seeing too many people die of preventable illnesses convinced me to take the leap into medicine. I hope to go on and be a GP in the Northern Territory so I can help my mob.

“The hardest thing is being so far away from my family when they need me. I go home as often as I can, financially, that’s usually once a year over summer so I can work as well,” Ms Hodgson said.

“Winning the AMA scholarship is a real boost because it’s at a national level and from such an important institution. The AMA investing in me confirms I’m on the right path, so I’m really grateful.”

AMA Indigenous Scholarship winner Cameron Howard


Cameron Howard, a proud Bardi and JabirJabir man brought up in Broome, is in his fourth and final year of his masters’ level Doctor of Medicine at Notre Dame University in Western Australia.

Cameron says his earlier career in human resources in the mining sector, with its whole-system approach to problem solving, set him up well for health care.

“I’m seeing it’s not just the disease, but a whole lot of things that contribute to the illnesses I’ve seen in remote WA. For aboriginal people, poor heath often comes down to three things: the logistics of accessing health care, cultural barriers or health literacy.

“Having a first-hand knowledge of these things allows you to better understand the problem and better treat it. But while we have a bit of a head start, I don’t see that understanding being limited to only aboriginal people involved with aboriginal health. It should be everyone having knowledge of the social context and constructs involved.”




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