AIDA 25th Anniversary Member Stories Ms Holly Reynolds

16 Jun 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.

Ms. Holly Reynolds is our Student Director and an aspiring Indigenous Doctor. Studying at Western Sydney University.

Holly’s drive to study medicine comes from seeing the health inequalities her family faced at a young age. Because of their genetic background.

This prompted Holly who at the time wanted to be a ballet dancer, considering studying medicine to become a doctor to help her family and other people underrepresented in the medical workforce.

“I wanted to be a dancer, I thought I’m going to be a ballet dancer. I’m going to be on stage. Then my family started having health events, it flicked on a light bulb that made me realize, you know, it’s more important for me to try help my mob and my family.” – Holly

Speaking about closing the gap in Indigenous health, Holly cites the key is representation and, not only listening to the voices of the mob but to implement the changes brought forth.

“How can we actually implement what it is that they’re (Indigenous People) saying, into our healthcare systems? How can we listen to the things that are so foundational and take them and put them into our healthcare system? – Holly

When speaking about AIDA and how it benefits students, Holly says that the camaraderie and the relationships that are built are amazing.

“AIDA has really helped me with my journey of getting into medicine and they can help our students and medical doctors with that, the real sense of camaraderie, the feeling of belonging and being in a shared space with other people, who also have similar interests.”

When reflecting on her speech at AIDA’s International Women’s Day Breakfast Holly says.

“Yeah, it was great. It was a good event, good to see all these other women on the panel share their experiences being a woman in medicine or in the workforce.”

Giving advice to younger indigenous people looking at pursuing a career in medicine Holly cites –

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. And don’t try and do something to prove them wrong. Do it for yourself and do it for your mob, take your opportunities as they come. But if you need to, consider your family. That’s okay, there will always be a time when you can do it again if you can’t, and don’t ever be disheartened about being told no, or being rejected. It took me three times to get into medicine. So don’t ever turn around and be disheartened by it because you will get there one day.”

Becoming AIDA’s Student Director Holly explains the trials and tribulations it took to get where she is today.

“Having such a twist and changing all the pathways that I’ve taken, and now to be a student director, from being just like a lowly student at school, below-average grades kind of thing. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the world. You just have to have passion and drive to do it. And if you think that you can’t you just have to try and try again.”

Sharing her thoughts on what the next 25 years of the Indigenous Doctors have in store Holly says.

“I hope that they [AIDA] have so many more brilliant medical students and doctors. I hope that there’s so many more of our mob that are involved. Hopefully we can have things such as our own college that teaches Indigenous Health, specific for Indigenous students or indigenous people and for non-Indigenous people as well.”

Holly also speaks about the need for Medical Colleges and universities to take on the advice given by AIDA

“Each university needs to take on what we [AIDA] talk about and each medical college needs to take on our policies and our recommendations so that we don’t have disasters happening in our healthcare systems because of cultural failures.”

16 Jun 2022