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.
Mr Kyle Ryan, is our student representative from the University of Queensland and the winner of the Brisbane NAIDOC Youth Award for 2022.
Kyle says it’s great to receive reassurance from the community that his work is making a real impact, stating;
“It’s nice to be recognised by institutions and receive awards but when it’s awarded by the community that means so much more to me.”
Kyle also attended the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress (PRIDoC) in Canada this year. Kyle speaks on why events like PRIDoC and AIDA’s Conference are important to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical community.
“I think it’s extremely important within our community. There’s a lot of shame and obviously that shame stems from the systemic barriers that are in place in the healthcare system, but also shame within themselves.”
“Events like PRIDoC and AIDA conferences getting all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and doctors together, gives us a place of reaffirming who we are and reaffirming what we’re doing for our communities and for our people and for representation in these systems.”
Speaking about the work AIDA does, Kyle shares how impactful AIDA has been in the community and the role AIDA has played in his young career thus far.
“It’s been ultimately amazing. What AIDA is doing and what they stand for. It’s good to see there’s a national voice for Indigenous health, for doctors and students to have a national organisation that backs them and supports the work we do across the nation.
Having that authority behind us, gives us confidence in doing what we do on an everyday basis.”
Serving as a representative on our Student Representative Committee, Kyle explains what it means to him and gives advice to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Students.
“I’ve met a lot of Members from AIDA that are from other universities around the nation. This has helped build my network and together we’ve helped to create a better quality of education for others. As I’m going through medical school it’s good to see all these other Blackfullas on the same journey – its great.”
“You’ve got to have the right passion and the right reasons for going into medicine. If you don’t have the passion or the drive for a particular cause then why do you want to jump into medicine? You’re going to burn out and you’re not going to make it through so I really suggest doing medicine for the right reasons.”
“Don’t compare yourself to others. You are your own biggest critic. We’ve got to be a bit more lenient with ourselves sometimes, especially as Blackfullas. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and we have to perform at a higher standard to be seen and acknowledged in these [Medical] institutions. Just doing it one step at a time and following your own journey is the best way to do it.”
With AIDA turning 25 this year, Kyle tell us what he thinks the next 25 years will have in store for us.
“A lot of advocacy, a lot of changes on a national level. A lot more retention in medical school, changing the face of education and how we deliver Indigenous health on a national level and for medical schools, ultimately making changes for our communities.”
Kyle has great plans for the future after finishing medical studies. He plans on working at Aboriginal Medical Centres and wants to specialise in being a rural generalist.
“I definitely want to work in an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) but I want to specialize in rural generalism, so I can go out into rural communities. It’s nice to be a specialist and working in a big hospital, but at the end of the day, I want to get out to my Indigenous communities and my people early on in the upstream approach and be a preventative primary care health physician.”