Lishayda Martin

My name is Lishayda Martin. I grew up in Cherbourg and am a Gaangalou woman.

I am currently completing a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Toowoomba. To supplement my studies I work part-time in aged care at Bluecare.

I wasn't interested in university at first, however one of my teachers at high school submitted some forms for university. I came and had a look around at USQ and discovered it was the place for me.

My younger sister had a hip problem and needed surgery. She was in plaster for a couple of months up to her chest. I watched my grandmother and mother take care of her. This is how I became so passionate about nursing.

I hope to complete a graduate program in Indigenous health, and eventually work in women's health.

I strongly encourage young Indigenous people to take every opportunity that comes their way. I didn't have an OP when I left school but I completed a bridging course to get into university. I learnt a lot through that process and I discovered myself.

A lot of my family haven't studied at a tertiary level and I didn't think I could do it, but I realised I can. I enjoy being a role model to my sisters and cousins.

Hopefully I am making a difference. Leaving Cherbourg to achieve something, I hope to be the inspiration that others were to me. I hope to one day help educate and support Indigenous people in remote Aboriginal communities and improve the health outcomes of all Indigenous people.

Our culture is so strong and proud. It feels good to overcome our disadvantages.

DESCRIPTION: Photography by Lyle Radford.