Harison Towns is a Gunggari man and one of WIC’s 2020 graduates.
Inspired by his mum’s career as a nurse, Harison has now achieved a Bachelor of Pre-Medicine, Science and Health at UOW, the first step on his journey to become a doctor specialising in Indigenous health.
“My mum’s worked as a nurse for as long as I can remember, and the stories she shared with me really grabbed me and led me to fantasise about what I could do to help people in the context of health,” Harison said.
Harison also spoke about how an opportunity to join the NSW Rural Doctors on a trip opened his eyes to dire needs of Indigenous healthcare in Australia.
“We visited such places like Tamworth, Brewarrina, Nyngan, Walgett, Bourke and Dubbo. I had some pretty insightful and meaningful conversations with the mob out there and I felt a massive call to action over the health inequities faced by Indigenous communities. I wanted to be a catalyst for change.”
“I studied hard for the next few years and ended up being successful in my application to study medicine at UOW.”
Being accepted into the degree was a huge reassurance for Harison in that early stage, and he said it made his career goals suddenly feel much more attainable.
One of his highlights of studying pre-medicine, science and health was the ongoing realisation along the way of just how much he was learning.
“My friends started consulting me about their health issues and testing my knowledge. It’s funny when you have this whole pseudo doctor-patient relationship going with your friends, and you’re only eight weeks into your studies.”
“Even though my understanding was very basic, it’s still pretty cool being able to make sense of some real-life clinical presentations, and you get to impress some people along the way too.”
Harison’s words of advice to anyone thinking of studying pre-medicine, science and health is to always appreciate how rewarding the work can be.
“It’s so rewarding, and I believe it has the highest job satisfaction. It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, it requires a lot of hard work. It can often take a toll on you, so have your support networks established and to ‘phone a friend’ when you need it. And the team at WIC have definitely made the study load a little more manageable too”
“I hope that my experiences can inspire somebody somewhere, in particular us blackfellas who are so desperately needed in the health sector.”