News

Sights set on improving indigenous health through biomedical engineering


27 February 2015


Sophee Savage first recipient of the Biomedical Industry Partners Scholarship in Engineering Leadership for Indigenous Women
Sophee Savage first recipient of the Biomedical Industry Partners Scholarship in Engineering Leadership for Indigenous Women

An exceptional final high school year has secured young Sophee Savage, from Townsville a scholarship to study at the University of Sydney.

The Pimlico State High School graduate is the University's first Biomedical Industry Partners Scholarship in Engineering Leadership for Indigenous Women recipient.

17 year-old Sophee received a top Queensland OP score- graded 4 (or equivalent of a 95 ATAR ranking) and is now eager to commence her degree in biomedical engineering.

Sophee, whose favourite subjects were mathematics and physics is fascinated by the possibilities of bionics and their use in health applications such as the bionic ear or robotics arms.

She also says she has her sights set on helping to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Sophee said she has worked hard, applying herself to her studies, inspired by her participation in a number of Indigenous outreach programs conducted at the University of Sydney, including the annual Indigenous Australian engineering and pharmacy summer schools.

"This fabulous opportunity is what made it possible for me to even fly to Sydney and experience engineering first hand and why I have decided to study biomedical engineering."

"Engineering also has a lot of ties to my indigenous background as there are several rural, outback and inland communities where infrastructure such as hospitals and health centres to improve indigenous health figures, schools to improve educational outcomes and communications networking to assist with long-distance study or long-distance healthcare are needed."

Professor Archie Johnston, dean of the Facuty of Engineering and Information Technologies says this new scholarship was specifically created to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students pursue a career in biomedical engineering.

"The enrichment scholarship provides students with a structured industry placement program, as well as access to business mentors and intensive leadership development,"says Professor Johnston.

"The scholarship is a reflection of the University's commitment to support young Indigenous scholars which reaches back to the time of Charles Perkins, the first Aboriginal man to graduate from university in Australia."


Follow University of Sydney Media on Twitter

Media enquiries: Victoria Hollick, victoria.hollick@sydney.edu.au, 0401 711 361