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Achieving my dream would not have been possible without the help and support of Marathon Health

01-06-2022 Category: General Posted by: Anonymous

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Karen Ingram, Indigenous Health Project Officer, Marathon Health and a proud Wiradjuri woman, always dreamed of being able to help people and make a difference in her community—to be able to be a presence in Aboriginal health. With the support and guidance from the team at Marathon Health, Karen was able to complete her Diploma of Nursing through Griffith TAFE. 

"Being in health and helping people was something that I have always been interested in, particularly since my mother worked in child protection and my late uncle Dr Ross Ingram who was one of the first Aboriginal (Wiradjuri) doctors to come out of the University of Newcastle. Both were a massive inspiration for me. 

"I didn't think I would be able to do it. However, after having a chat about my career goals with my supervisor, they were fully supportive in encouraging me to follow this dream.  

"I started my journey doing Certificates 3 and 4 in Aboriginal Health at Little Bay Aboriginal Health College, and in 2020, I enrolled to do the Diploma of Nursing, for which I was also able to apply and receive a scholarship through the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme," explains Karen.  

Continuing your education while maintaining a full-time job can be an extremely difficult task that may require some flexibility in your schedule. 

"I was really concerned about how I would be able to meet the deadlines and juggle work, home and studies. However, following a conversation with my supervisor, I was assured that they would help me and that they would be able to make the necessary adjustments so that I could study or fit in any exams. 

After putting in a significant amount of work and dedicating herself to her studies, Karen was successful in obtaining her nursing diploma. 

"It was meant to take 18 months. However, because of COVID, things dragged out to about 20 months. Without Marathon Health's support, I would never have been able to finish. There were times when I was just like, ‘oh my goodness, this is just not going to happen’. But you know, I did – I got over the finish line." 

After completing her diploma, Karen has been a positive influence on the younger generations of her family, just like her uncle and mother were to her.  

"Graduating was something I was really proud of. But I didn't want to create a scene. My family, on the other hand, would not hear of it and insisted on celebrating my achievement. How proud they were really hit home. To realise that I was now an inspiration for them was huge, as it is generally not something you tend to think of about yourself." 

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