Medical student Phoebe Williams secures scholarship to Oxford
Final year medical student Phoebe Williams has secured one of Oxford University’s highly competitive Clarendon Scholarships for 2009, to study for a Master’s in Global Health Science.
She is one of just over 100 recipients of the scholarship this year, chosen from 2268 international applicants. The Clarendon Fund is sponsored by Oxford University Press with the purpose of encouraging the most able international students to study at the University.
‘Of course I was thrilled. The course looks amazing and there are only 20 people enrolled,” she said. “Although I am a bit sad not to be graduating with my class.”
Phoebe commenced in the graduate medical program at Sydney in 2004, having completed a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Science at Australian National University.
She is probably best known in the wider community as the person responsible for establishing the international charitable group, Hands of Help, in 2005. After a holiday in Africa in 2004, she rallied friends and supporters – mostly University of Sydney medical students - to spend the following Christmas break working in a remote part of Uganda.
From that start, Hands of Help has been a story of extraordinary achievement. It has built schools, trained aid workers and provided health care in Uganda and Kenya. In Australia, the group sends medical students to work with Aboriginal Medical Services in remote communities, and has run preventive and other programs with Indigenous people in western New South Wales and Northern Territory.
The Master’s in Global Health Science will be an opportunity for her to develop her interests in health policy and international aid.
“In my undergraduate degree, I studied development economics and found it fascinating. In the future, I’d love to do paediatrics but I’d also love to find a way to combine clinical medicine with public policy.”
Aside from the Clarendon Scholarship, Phoebe has received a number of awards. She was one of four NSW finalists in the Young Australian of the Year in 2006. Last year she won the Boston Consulting Group Undergraduate Scholarship and was a Commonwealth Access Scholarship recipient.