TOP DOC: Jeanette Wimbus has received a top honour.
TOP DOC: Jeanette Wimbus has received a top honour.

Indigenous doctor takes out top award

PLAYING doctors and nurses when we're young is an age-old tradition, but one Bundaberg woman knew it was more than child's play and now her hard work has paid off.

Doctor Jeanette Wimbus has been honoured with the Bundaberg and District Naidoc Scholar of the Year Award for her contribution to the community.

Dr Wimbus, who is completing general practice training through James Cook University's Generalist Medical Training program, received the award at a ceremony last month.

The Naidoc Scholar of the Year Award was chosen via a committee and a general public vote.

"I was very humbled to receive the award,” Dr Wimbus said from her office at Ashfield Country Practice in Windemere, where she is undertaking her general practice training.

Dr Wimbus is an Australian South Sea Islander and Torres Strait Islander woman, and was born and raised in Bundaberg as one of 17 children.

She wanted to be a doctor from a young age and completed medical school at James Cook University in Townsville before returning to practice and complete her general practice training in her hometown.

"The thing that I love most about my work is meeting and talking with and caring for patients,” she said.

"I love hearing their stories, hearing about their past, their triumphs, their failures. I love helping people.

"Having experienced my own uncles, aunties and cousins - my own family - with chronic diseases and dying at a young age ... I wanted to help, to make a difference.”

Dr Wimbus said she jumped at the opportunity to work with Associate Professor Brad Murphy, a well-known Bundaberg GP and generalist medical training supervisor, who has a passion for enhancing the provision of health care for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

"I couldn't say no to the opportunity of working with another indigenous doctor,” she said.

Dr Wimbus said young people in her community often ask her for career advice and her message was always the same.

"My advice is if you want something bad enough, whatever it is, then go for it,” she said.

"You might get knocked back, and you might have failures along the way.

"You might be told that you'll never make it. But if you want it bad enough, then you can make it happen, no matter what it is, no matter how small or how big. Don't let anyone ever take that away from you.”

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