BHS student awarded Charles Perkins AO Memorial Prize

3 November 2008

Bachelor of Health Sciences student Alana Moffett has been awarded one of three prestigious Charles Perkins Memorial prizes administered by the Koori Centre to Indigenous students who achieve outstanding academic results.

'There are no words to tell you how honored I am' remarked Alana. 'Dr Charles Perkins as an activist has had a big impact on my life and I am passionate about the need for our people to be on the same educational playing field as others.'

A mother of two, Alana was working an Aboriginal Health Worker in mental and emotional health for close to 11 years before deciding to take on the challenge of further education. She has recently completed her final year of the Bachelor of Health Sciences, majoring in Aboriginal Health and Community Development.

'I just realised how vital the education component of health is and felt that on a personal level I really needed to study to help improve health outcomes.'

Alana Moffett (centre) receiving her award
Alana Moffett (centre) receiving her award

However, even Alana was surprised at how much she enjoyed study and the exceptional level of her academic achievements. 'Before this I really didn't know that I could excel academically.'

She acknowledges the dedication and support of her employer and the lecturers and support staff at the Faculty of Health Sciences as one of the big contributors to her success. 'Staff from the Yooroang Garang Indigenous Student Support Unit, in particular Dr Freidoon Khavarpour and Sally Farrington went beyond what is expected. They genuinely foster and encourage a kind of learning that is life long.'

As well as continuing her work with the Benevolent Society's Centre for Women's Health next year, Alana is also planning to continue her studies in Aboriginal women's identity and how it affects their wellness.

'Undertaking the BHS has opened so many doors for me and I hope I can encourage other Aboriginal Health Workers to do the same. I'm not going to tell people it was easy, but it can be done and sometimes all people need is those few words of encouragement.'

Contact: Michelle Cario

Phone: 02 9036 7486