Medical student Tionne Seden from the Torres Strait has been awarded the prestigious President’s Prize from the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) for her commitment to rural medicine.

The Prize provides Tionne with all expenses-paid entry to the premier Rural Medicine Australia (RMA) conference, being held on the Gold Coast in October. She will also have the opportunity to meet with College President Dr Ewen McPhee and other key stakeholders at the event.

Dr McPhee says the President’s Prize is designed to provide aspiring future Rural Generalists to network and learn from leaders in the field of rural generalism.

“ACRRM is the home of rural generalism and with so many dedicated rural health professionals in the one place at the same time, this is an excellence opportunity for our future Rural Generalists to network some of the best in the world,” Dr McPhee says.

“Tionne was chosen from a collection of high-calibre entrants for her commitment to pursuing a career working in rural and remote communities,” Dr McPhee says.

As a proud Torres Strait Island woman, born and raised on Thursday Island, Tionne says her ultimate goal is to return home and become a doctor in the Torres Strait.

“I have family connections to the Masig, Erub and Mabiaug Islands and want nothing more than to live and work amongst family, especially seeing as I have been away studying at university for the past six years.”

Tionne explains that the Rural Generalist career is very appealing to her due to the ability to work in a range of environments and see a variety of patient presentations.

“I’m passionate about living and working in the smaller communities and have a particular interest in improving chronic disease prevention and management, as well as mental health care in rural areas.”

Tionne says she is looking forward to networking and making connections with colleagues and future employers at RMA19.

“There is always something to learn as a student! Given my particular interests in mental health and chronic disease management, I’m looking forward to the academic presentations and seeing what is being done in rural communities to advance this.”

“I think most importantly, I’ll return from RMA19 with a sense of belonging and purpose in rural health and with the community of doctors I’ve met along the way.”

Tionne will be recognised formally at RMA19 at the annual Excellence Awards and Gala Dinner.