Dr Jeanette Wimbus received the Bundaberg and District NAIDOC Scholar of the Year Award for her contribution to her community at an award ceremony in July 2017.
Dr Wimbus is currently completing her general practice training through James Cook University’s Generalist Medical Training program.
The NAIDOC Scholar of the Year Award was chosen via a committee and a general public vote.
“I was very humbled to receive the award,” Dr Wimbus said from her office at Ashfield Country Practice in Windermere.
Dr Wimbus is an Australian South Sea Islander and Torres Strait Islander woman, and was born and raised in Bundaberg as one of 17 children. She wanted to be a doctor from a young age, and completed medical school at James Cook University in Townsville, before returning to practice in her hometown.
“The thing that I love most about my work is meeting and talking with and caring for patients. I love hearing their stories, hearing about their past, their triumphs, their failures. I love helping people.”
"Having experienced my own uncles, aunties and cousins - my own family - with chronic diseases and dying at a young age...I wanted to help, to make a difference.”
Dr Wimbus says she jumped at the opportunity to work with Associate Professor Brad Murphy, a well-known Bundaberg GP and Generalist Medical Training Supervisor, who has a passion for enhancing the provision of health care for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
“I couldn’t say no to the opportunity of working with another Indigenous doctor.”
Dr Wimbus said young people in her community often ask her for career advice, and that her message is always the same.
“My advice is if you want something bad enough, whatever it is, then go for it. You might get knocked back, and you might have failures along the way. You might be told that you’ll never make it. But if you want it bad enough, then you can make it happen, no matter what it is, no matter how small or how big. Don’t let anyone ever take that away from you.”
Dr Wimbus says she is looking forward to continuing her GP training with Generalist Medical Training, and to working with her patients and her community. She hopes to complete specialist training in the areas of paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and surgical skills in the future.
James Cook University is committed to developing a general practice workforce that works effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples towards improving their health outcomes.
James Cook University’s Generalist Medical Training program offers a range of opportunities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Find out more.