15 December 2015

Sarah Logan with Provost Allan EvansAs thousands of Year 12 students receive their SACE results, UniSA’s first Indigenous Pharmacy graduand is encouraging them to reach for the stars.

UniSA acknowledged Sarah Logan as its first Indigenous-identified pharmacy graduand when the Division of Health Sciences Graduating Indigenous Student Luncheon was held at City East campus this month.

Thirteen students from undergraduate degrees and four postgraduate students were invited to the event that was organised to recognise the students’ achievements in UniSA’s Health Sciences Division.

The event acknowledged Sarah as the first Aboriginal identified graduand from UniSA’s School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. Sarah will officially graduate from UniSA in April 2016.

“I chose pharmacy because it encompasses a lot of the things I am interested in. I knew I would enjoy it,” Sarah said.

“I was really surprised to hear I will be the first Aboriginal identified pharmacy graduate from UniSA. It feels a bit nerve-racking to think about but it is exciting at the same time.”

Being a trailblazer in a field without a mentor can prove to be a daunting task but one that Logan said she learned to overcome.

“I thought there would be someone to look up to, who had done it before me that could help mentor and guide me,” Logan said.

“But I feel I can now be that mentor.”

Sarah is hoping for more diversity within the School of Pharmacy and although she will be the first Aboriginal graduate, she is hoping that she is not the last.

“I hope other Aboriginal students give pharmacy a go,” she said.

“I feel we are already culturally sensitive and have the potential to bridge the gap and make a huge difference.”

Sarah will start working as a pharmacy intern at Lyell McEwin Hospital in the new year.

Dean of Clinical Education and Equity, Professor Esther May, said it was an exciting time for the health of the community as graduates were going into health work areas where traditionally there were low numbers of Aboriginal professionals. 

Aboriginal health professionals will provide leadership in addressing the health disparities we see between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. 

“We have 17 Aboriginal students graduating from the Health Sciences division in 2015, which is the largest number we have had, but more exciting is that finishing students come from across many professional areas including pharmacy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, midwifery, nutrition and food sciences and human movement” Prof May said.

The Aboriginal Student Support based in the Division of Health Sciences which including tutoring, mentoring and a study space supported by Commonwealth funds helped develop a strong sense of an Aboriginal student community at UniSA and an opportunity for Aboriginal students across the various courses to develop strong relationships.

 “It is really exciting to see so many successful students who value their time at UniSA , their programs of study and the friends they have made whilst at UniSA because we are trying to develop a strong Aboriginal network of Aboriginal health professionals and we are very proud of the development so far,” Prof May said.

“We would love to make this an annual event where we can look back at the success of Aboriginal students at UniSA.”

Media contact: Caleb Radford or Kelly Stone office (08) 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.Stone@unisa.edu.au

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