UniSA young achiever working to ‘close the gap’

Kimberley Hunter With a passionate commitment to Indigenous Health and the mentoring of young people, it is no wonder UniSA graduate and staff member Kimberley Hunter has been recognised as one of South Australia’s Young Achievers.

Acknowledging and encouraging positive achievements of all young people up to and including 29 years of age, the 2016 Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards were announced at a gala event on Saturday March 12.

Kimberley was recognised with the Office for Youth Aboriginal Achievement Award for using her skills as an Occupational Therapist to help bring about change to social determinants impacting on the health of Aboriginal people

While studying, Kimberley visited central Australia to promote health careers, volunteered for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) mentoring Aboriginal High School students, and is currently an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Allied Health Officer with the UniSA Department of Rural Health in Whyalla.

“During my time as a student at UniSA I volunteered for a variety of community organisations and events; in particular events related to Indigenous Health and mentoring young people,” Kimberley says.

“I am honoured to have won the Channel 9 Young Achiever Award in the category of Office for Youth Aboriginal Achievement Award especially since the three other finalists are such inspiring individuals.

“It makes me feel very proud of my culture and the work that other young Aboriginal people like us are out there doing.

“I am passionate about Indigenous health and mentoring youth and I will continue to put my hand up for opportunities to yarn and work with individuals and communities because it is what I love.”

Kimberley is a strong advocate for mentorship and helping others grow, having experienced the positive influence of mentors in her own life.

“Studying at UniSA opened so many doors for me and I am grateful for the support from staff, tutors and fellow students that I received through the Indigenous Student Services Unit,” Kimberley says.

“I was offered many incredible opportunities such as travelling to Canberra and Cairns for the Indigenous Allied Health Conferences and learned so many invaluable skills, networks and lifelong friendships.

“UniSA has helped form the foundation to allow me to go out into the world and make a difference.”

Having recently gained employment in UniSA’s Department of Rural Health in Whyalla as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Allied Health Officer Kimberley is hoping to learn from the communities she is working with and make some further positive contributions.

"As well as travelling the world my dream is to work towards closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage by using my skills as an Occupational Therapist to help bring about change for Indigenous peoples,” Kimberley says.

 Some of the work Kimberley was nominated for includes: 

  • Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) Mentor 2013-2015
    • Providing support to Indigenous students to finish school at the same rate as their non-Indigenous peers through a range of different mentoring programs such as looking at leadership, racism, subject selection, resume building and life after school.
  • Participated in the 2015 Northern Territory PHN Rural High School visits throughout Central Australia
    • Encouraging students in rural areas to consider tertiary education in a health discipline.
    • Sharing my journey to becoming a health professional and overcoming barriers
  • Nine-week community development project at Wiltja Residence 2015
    • Focused on cultural identify and ownership- addressing environmental issues impacting on health
  • UniSA Indigenous student services ambassador 2011-2015
    • Volunteered for various university events representing the Indigenous Student Services Unit
  • UniSA Health Sciences  Indigenous Strategy group
    • Assist with the reporting on Indigenous students and activity in the Division of Health Science
  • UniSA Indigenous Student Art Project  May 2014
  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) Student Member 
    • Attended 2013 National Conference (Adelaide)
    • Attended 2014 National Forum (Canberra)
    • Presented at and attending 2015 National Conference (Cairns)
    • Took part in the 2015 Health Fusion Team Challenge
  • Student Aquatic Therapist at Inclusive Sport SA
    •   Providing 1:1 aquatic therapy for children living with Autism

   Media contact: Katrina McLachlan office +61 883020961 mob 0414972537 email katrina.mclachlan@unisa.edu.au

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