Dr Simon Quilty’s inspiring words to new graduates

Dr Simon Quilty
Dr Simon Quilty

Graduates at the Flinders University 2016 School of Medicine qualifying ceremony were inspired by the NT’s very own Dr Simon Quilty, Katherine doctor and medical student supervisor. He challenged them to follow each opportunity to make meaning in their work. His passion for remote healthcare was moving, as he described anecdotes of providing quality and respectful health care amid the complexity of cross cultural services to Indigenous people. An excerpt from his speech is reproduced below.

Remote hospitals like Katherine provide an amazing and unique space in which to explore the art of medicine. And with the support of institutions like Flinders University, these remote places can absolutely be leaders. The infrastructure – a high-tech hospital with great potential to cure the sick – is an amazing space in which deeper scars of colonisation can truly begin to be healed. Since graduating from Sydney University 12 years ago, I have not really planned my journey, and I certainly didn’t head out with the objective to pioneer new spaces. I have simply followed my passions. Through this I have experienced and mostly overcome great challenges, I have been given great meaning and many incredible opportunities, and I have learned things that can’t be taught in most universities like advocacy and persistence.

So here we are tonight, with you mob just setting out on your journey. Congratulations on the hard work you’ve all put in to define your paintbrush and palate. How will each of you find meaning in what you do? How will you learn to create? You are all about to walk into an exciting world of opportunity where you see great things, sad things, where you’ll bear witness to disparity, inequity and dysfunction. See all of these challenges as opportunities to do things better. And most of all, don’t be ashamed of your passion, let it drive you to do great things yourself.’

Read Dr Quilty’s full speech

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Flinders NT Medical Program (NTMP)