Classically-trained opera singer Myora Kruger has been named the inaugural recipient of Bond University’s Indigenous Medical Scholarship, introduced this year as part of the University’s commitment to help close the gap on education and healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The 19-year-old plans on becoming an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist upon graduation, living out her dreams of helping singers with vocal damage and working with remote Indigenous communities to improve child health.
The prestigious scholarship will cover Myora’s tuition fees through Bond University’s highly-ranked Medical Program, the fastest pathway available to graduate as an intern eligible to practice medicine in Australia and New Zealand.
Professor Helen Chenery, Executive Dean of Bond University’s Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, said Bond University was committed to growing its Indigenous medical cohort in order to see more Indigenous doctors enter the workforce.
“There are currently only approximately 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors practicing medicine and 300 Indigenous students studying medicine Australia-wide, a figure Bond University has dedicated itself to improving,” said Professor Chenery.
“We are thrilled to have introduced the Indigenous Medical Scholarship this year, which provides a pathway for the best and brightest Indigenous students, like Myora, to study medicine at Bond University.”
Myora said she had been training as a classical opera singer since the age of 11.
“I have been singing for most of my life and started studying a Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice, however I realised that, as much as I loved performing, I wanted to do something else career-wise,” she said.
“I was talking to my singing teacher about technique after I had broken my nose and visited an ENT specialist, and my teacher told me about a professional singer who became an ENT and now worked with singers with vocal damage.”
“I thought that sounded amazing and realised that was the career path I wanted to pursue.”
“When I graduate, I also want to use my medical training to give back to the Indigenous community as much as possible. It can be hard for Indigenous people who don’t want to seek medical help from doctors who aren’t Indigenous, so I plan to help out in that regard.”
“Specifically, it has been found that a lot of Indigenous children develop ‘glue ear’, so as a future ENT specialist I would love to give back by assisting with this issue down the track.”