Skye Kinder of Bendigo is the 2019 Victorian Young Australian of the Year.
Twenty-seven-year-old Dr Kinder has dedicated her medical career to improving the health of marginalised patients throughout Australia.
“I am still processing it to be honest. I was very shocked. I am humbled and overwhelmed,” Dr Kinder said.
“I am hoping this will give me a bigger platform to look at policy change, and funding change too.
“I want to put the spolight on changes that need to be made for rural doctors and patients.”
Dr Kinder travelled to Darwin following the awards to present at the Rural Medicine Australia conference.
“I am running a call to action workshop for medical students and junior doctors to discuss the big issues facing us in our rural careers,” she said.
“I have hopes to to put together a call to action paper of our proposed solutions for endorsement by Rural Doctors Association Australia and subsequent political advocacy work.”
Dr Kinder set off on her career path after seeing her father travel to Melbourne for specialist appointments.
She said she became committed to easing the burden of healthcare on rural populations.
While studying, Dr Kinder became an advocate for rural health, representing the Australian Medical Students’ Association as Rural Health Officer.
Through AMSA, she co-founded and chaired the first Rural Health Committee and set up a national Rural Health Summit, creating new opportunities for students in regional areas to participate in advocacy and policy.
She is now a board member of Rural Doctors Association of Victoria.
Dr Kinder was named Victoria’s Junior Doctor of the Year in 2017, and Bendigo’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2014.
– Steve Kendall