News

Graduate's academic excellence recognised


21 April 2016

An icon and pioneer, Sister Alison Bush was the first Aboriginal midwife to work at a major maternity hospital in New South Wales, delivering more than 1000 babies during her 40 years of service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
An icon and pioneer, Sister Alison Bush was the first Aboriginal midwife to work at a major maternity hospital in New South Wales, delivering more than 1000 babies during her 40 years of service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Congratulations to Mykaela Saunders (BEd (AboriginalStud) 2010 MEd (Research) 2015), who was recognised at the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony.

Mykaela won the Sister Alison Bush Medal, which honours academic excellence and contribution to the diverse life of the University and the broader community by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander graduate.

Awarded the Margaret Ida Howie Scholarship for Indigenous Women in 2012, Mykaela studied by mixed mode in an Indigenous enclave program.

After graduating, she taught in the University's Koori Centre as a casual lecturer in Indigenous Studies, receiving formal commendations.

Mykaela has been active in Indigenous politics on campus.

In 2014, she was invited to represent the University on the judging panels for the Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards and the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards.

Since 2013, Mykaela has written a blog, Defender of the Faith.

Her article, 'But you don't look Aboriginal' was shared 5700 times and published by The Stringer.

"As a Goori woman, my relationships to older women in my community are important. I wanted to strengthen and explore these ties to make sense of myself in the context of my family and community history," she said.

Sister Alison Bush AO, RN CM FRACOG (Hon) FRCNA (Hon) FCN (NSW) (Hon), was descended from the Ngalakan clan of Ngukurr (Roper River), in the traditional language group of Garawa Borroloola.

She and her twin sister Jennifer were members of the Stolen Generation taken to Groote Eylandt.

An icon and pioneer, Sister Alison was the first Aboriginal midwife to work at a major maternity hospital in New South Wales, delivering more than 1000 babies during her 40 years of service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

She spent the final decade of her life travelling to remote regions in her role as Aboriginal liaison midwife, bringing compassionate and culturally sensitive care to Aboriginal mothers and their babies