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RWAV Rural Ambassador wins Student Optometrist Award

We are proud to announce that Emily Glover, one of our Rural Ambassadors, was the recipient of “The Inspiring Student Optometrist Award” presented at the recent Doctor of Optometry Student Conference 2016.  Emily received the award from Collins Street Optometrists at the annual event organised by University of Melbourne.

As a Rural Ambassador of RWAV, Emily aims “to raise awareness about the exciting opportunities in rural healthcare to Victorian secondary and tertiary students”. She is the Interdisciplinary Health Officer and the Optometry Representative of the Outlook Rural Health Club at the University of Melbourne.  She has hosted many rural-themed lecture events, promoted RWAV initiatives and services while encouraging interdisciplinary networking.

“RWAV has been a medium for me to learn about the Future Workforce Initiatives, RWAV services and grant opportunities offered to graduating health professionals” which she has shared with her colleagues. “I have received constant support and encouragement from RWAV to be that extra link between health students and RWAV”, says Emily, which has helped her to inspire optometry students and has given her the passion to continue into the future.

Emily’s interest in rural health has grown as she understands “what a vital role health practitioners play in a patient’s quality of life, particularly in rural areas where it is harder to access health services”. She thinks it is “pretty special when you can be a part of someone’s life in managing their health, making it such a positive experience that they want to continue coming back to see you, and also encourages their family to come and see you, as their family doctor”.”.

Emily has been involved with the Outlook Rural Health Club at The University of Melbourne building an interdisciplinary committee with representatives from; Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Audiology, Speech Pathology, Optometry and Nursing, demonstrating engagement with a wide range of allied health students promoting rural health care. The committee has organised Interdisciplinary Movie Night, Interdisciplinary Rural Health Careers Nights and Beyond City Borders Rural Information Evening lecture events. Last year she worked with the General Practice Student Network to host the Rural Case Files event where “health students engaged in discussion, role play and clinical scenarios with a rural focus”. Emily has advertised “Indigenous lecture events and offered opportunities for students to publish their rural placement experiences in Horizons and Outlook magazines. Emily found the time to help organise rural health career days for students at Ballarat Base Hospital and undertook Aboriginal Cultural Competency training in Shepparton.

Emily is looking forward to becoming a “knowledgeable and enthusiastic health professional” and set up an independent family-orientated practice where she can make an exceptional difference to her patient’s quality of life, through improving their sight. She hopes to become “more involved in paediatric optometry”, encouraged by her involvement in the Teddy Bear Hospital – a program run between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Children’s Hospital, to fundraise for The Good Friday Appeal. Emily is enthusiastic to “continue inspiring the next generation of optometry and other allied health students to learn about rural health”.

To find out more about the range of opportunities available for Medical Students interested in a career in rural Victoria or about our Rural Ambassador program, please contact the Workforce Support Program Officer on 03 9349 7800.

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