AIDA 25th Anniversary Member Stories Dr Sarah Goddard

16 Mar 2022
Member Story

As part of our 25th Anniversary Celebrations, we are reaching out to our members from around the country to hear about the impact AIDA has had on their amazing careers.

Dr. Sarah Goddard is a Tennant Creek local whose journey into medicine has been inspiring for those in her town. Sarah is the first Aboriginal female Fellow from the Northern Territory to graduate from the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACCRM).

Since an early age Sarah always knew she wanted to be a doctor.

“My mum was sick when I was little and I had great admiration for the doctors and the work they did to help her, from then on I decided I was going to be a doctor.”

Dr Sarah as a young child

Dr Sarah attended medical school in Newcastle before returning home to be a Rural Generalist in her home town of Tennant Creek.

Working with her local community to help create change has been a key factor in Dr Sarah’s career in Indigenous health. Growing up, Sarah noticed the disparity between medical terms and local language was leading to language gaps and confusion in patients. Addressing this gap has been a rewarding experience for her.

“Being able to explain something that hasn’t been understood by a patient until it’s broken down. And just seeing them being able to understand what I’m actually trying to say or explaining how to take their medications, as well as being able to work with people who mean the most to me has been great,” she says.

A member of AIDA since 2008, Dr Sarah explains the value AIDA has had and continues to have on young Indigenous doctors, AIDA is like a second family she could rely on when she needed advice.

“It’s like a big family get together. Mentoring dinners and giving that support but from Indigenous person, [as well as] advocating and trying to minimise the discrimination against Indigenous people and in the health system.”

Also giving her advice to the next generation of doctors, Dr Sarah says:

“To give it your all. Put yourself into situations where you want to be at the end of the day. Know that there’s a family before you and there’s gonna be a family after you that’ll follow you through.”

16 Mar 2022