Pharmacist Angela Young is devoted to working with Indigenous communities, especially in the area of renal healthcare.
Story By Paula Stevenson
The Department of Health’s advertisement for jobs at Alice Springs Hospital has this enticing pitch: ‘Come for a short time and stay for a lifetime’. This has relevance for Angela Young, who was educated at boarding school in Sydney, then graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Pharmacy in 2006.
That year she presented her honours project to a medical symposium in Canberra and, while there, heard presentations by two pharmacists from the Kimberley. “I remember feeling a sense of shock and marvel when I realised the patients, languages and culture they were talking about were in our own country,” Angela says. “We had learned little about Indigenous health at university.”
Inspired, Angela began looking at pharmacy jobs around Australia, from Broome to Thursday Island and Alice Springs. A friend recommended a job in Alice and assured her she would have many more interesting challenges than if she stayed in the city.
“After living in an apartment in Sydney for six years I thought I’d be a city slicker for good,” she says. But she packed up, left her colleagues, family and friends and set off on a road trip to Alice in 2007, to start work as a general clinical pharmacist. She thought she would stay for a year, gain extra knowledge and experience, have some fun, and then head back to Sydney.
But at some time during that year she started to lose her desire for the city. “The community of Alice, the people, the work/life balance, outdoor lifestyle, frequent dinner parties and short travelling distances really got under my skin,” she says. That one year turned into seven.
This Story is from Issue #104
Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2016