Bupa interns shooting hoops and changing lives
Below are some of the stories from our recent alumni and interns.
Keisha Nash is without doubt an exceptional young woman who has worked extremely hard to fulfil her passion to study medicine. With only 261 Indigenous doctors throughout Australia, Bupa is proud to support Keisha in pursuing her ambition to return to Thursday Island and work as an obstetrician. Keisha is the first recipient of our Dr Evelyn Scott Scholarship, is studying post grad Medicine at Monash University and has just started her role as a student doctor at Frankston Hospital.
The scholarship was created to honour Evelyn's legacy, a woman who was a resident at our Bupa Mt Sheridan care home, and an Indigenous leader who spent her life fighting not only for the rights of her people, but of all peoples’. In addition to financial support, the scholarship will give Keisha access to mentoring and employment opportunities across Bupa.
Natasha Ward is honoured as CareerTracker Intern of the Year because she has demonstrated an all-round excellence in the three pillars of the program and has thrived in education, employment and community developments. Last year, Natasha ‘Tash’ Ward had the privilege and daunting task of delivering a moving speech on identity and belonging to 2,100 people, which she later gave at the 10th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generation at Parliament House.
Haidee Allan is a dedicated intern who has taken the theory she’s learnt throughout her communications degree at The University of Newcastle and applied it to various projects she’s worked on in her three years of rotating through the corporate affairs, customer growth and corporate responsibility and sustainability teams.
Haidee is pursuing her Honours in Political Science which will put her in good stead in her ambitions as an investigative journalist and or policy maker. One of her most notable contributions is the work and dedication she's put into helping set up the Dr Evelyn Scott scholarship.
“I did an essay on Sorry Day in my first year at university. Handed it in to my tutor and then she handed it in to the head of discipline who offered me a place in political science. I am in a weird transition phase at the moment, I like the idea of policy and journalism so see we’ll see where it all takes me.
“It is crazy to think that in December of 2017, I was gathering information about the scholarship and developing a presentation pack. On my last day as an intern in 2019, I was able to see it fully developed and awarded to Keisha.
“I had no expectations (about the internship). I knew what health insurance was but what really exceeded my expectations here (at Bupa) was the corporate giving side and how much Bupa cares about giving back. Fund matching for staff led initiatives has been a huge eye opener for me and what that means for the wider community.
“My one major interest in policy at the moment is foster care. We had a lady come and talk to us about the female incarceration rate and flow on effects from foster care into gaol and how lots of young women never getting out of the system. It is something I’d like to explore and hopefully have a place in contributing to change.”
Byron Brunhuber’s skills rival the greats on the basketball court, but he's excelling off the court as well through his involvement in the CareerTrackers program and recent internship with the SMILE team at Bupa.
“I’m proud to have been able to review the Wellness Discount survey during my time with Bupa and that my recommendations for 2019 will be taken on board. I am proud that the project has added value to my team and that it will be contributing to improving the health and wellbeing of Bupa’s people.
“In Moruya, I grew up with the reality that there are not many opportunities. Growing up, I could feel that there was a negative stereotype associated with Indigenous peoples, but I’m trying to rewrite my narrative.
“I love the community where I’m from and being a part of the Aspiration Initiative during high school, Career Trackers and the experience at Bupa has really opened my mind.
“I didn’t think school or university was for me, but the high school camp taught me a lot about my culture and made me realise my own potential and pushed me to go to university, so I could prove to not only to myself, but set an example for next generation of Indigenous youth.
“My sister has played a huge role in my development too and is like a mum to me in Canberra as all of my family still reside on the coast. I’m studying a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Canberra because it is what I want and not what everyone else wants for me.
“Working here has been a wonderful experience. It has helped me to develop not only my professionalism, time management and my communication skills, but also it has opened another door for me which I didn’t think existed or I had an opportunity to open.”
As a side note, Byron is a keen basketball player and idolises and emulates the playing style of Paul George from Oklahoma City Thunder.
Thomas Harrington is in his second year of a Bachelor of Science and Medicine at The University of Sydney and has contributed to a number of projects during his internship within the clinical analytics team at Bupa.
He was also awarded a CareerTrackers gold diary alongside fellow intern Claire McKenzie for their exceptional academic results.
“Both in high school and primary, I was one of the only indigenous kids who identified and celebrated my identity. It was kind of hard being alone in that space but it made me sure of my own identity.
“Pop wouldn’t tell people he was an indigenous man, which affected my dad and so he grew up in the same kind of way. My dad’s mindset changed especially after we visited the town where my pop was born.
“Growing up, I was encouraged to go to university but up until year 12 I was unsure what that would be. Initially I wanted to be a teacher, then I spoke to a teacher and she encouraged me to pursue my passion for biology and to go after a career in medicine.
“The ultimate goal is to be a doctor and although that’s a fair way off, I would also consider joining the defence force so I could provide aid all over the world. I’d also like to work in regional areas of Australia, particularly those with large indigenous communities.
“Over my summer internship with Bupa, I was able to use FUTRIX software to filter through files of data and help sort that data in a way that we could look out for any anomalies and audit any fraudulent claims.
“I expected the analytical team to be very complex with messy excel spread sheets but it was nothing like that.
“Working in this team has helped me to develop my analytical thinking, I am more critical of data. In an interpersonal sense, I am more comfortable with asking for advice and help.”