Oceania's dream

27 October 2017

Veolia and Life Without Barriers partner to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

Image: Oceania is now pursuing her dream of studying medicine

Oceania Henry dreams of one day pursuing a career in medicine.

The young aspiring doctor – who identifies as an Aboriginal woman from the Gunditjmara region in western Victoria – says that her inspiration to study medicine comes from her sister who is a midwife. “I feel like I have inherited my sister’s love of babies, so potentially something in women’s health, like obstetrics or gynaecology when I have finished my study is where I see myself going,” says Oceania.

“This is an area I am passionate about and see a lot of value in.”

Oceania was the recent recipient of a scholarship funded by Veolia and Life Without Barriers that aims to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to commit to full-time study.

The two organisations each committed $15,000 towards university and living expenses to support two students to commence their studies in their chosen field of study at any Australian tertiary institution during 2017.

Oceania decided to use her funds to support her journey to study medicine at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus in Geelong, Victoria. “I am extremely excited and grateful for this scholarship opportunity that I’ve been very fortunate to receive,” says Oceania. “For me, this scholarship is life changing and really gives me the best chance possible at achieving my dream – to study Medicine! This scholarship enables me to invest more time into my study commitments.”

Oceania’s favourite subjects in this early stage of her studies are human genetics and embryology. In addition to her interest in women’s health (obstetrics and gynaecology), Oceania is interested in health education and preventative medicine, and has a firm belief that there is more to health than diagnosis and treatment. She is also interested in neurosurgery as she loves the “fascination and mystery of the brain”.

Life Without Barriers Chief Executive Claire Robbs said, “The scholarship program goes beyond being a great partnership between Life Without Barriers and Veolia as it is making a real difference in the lives of the two Aboriginal students who received this year’s scholarships.”

While Veolia CEO and Managing Director Doug Dean said, “Veolia is very proud to be supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in Australia. We have always had a commitment to benefiting the communities we work in.”

Life Without Barriers is pleased to  partner with the Veolia group that designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Last year the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 61 million people with wastewater service.