Our future health in Tyeena's caring hands


With young aspiring nurses like Tyeena Pang, our future health services are in good hands.

A James Cook University Mount Isa Campus first year nursing student, Tyeena has had her eyes set on a nursing career since she was a youngster.

Her mother, a local Community Liaison Officer, took her to communities where she witnessed first-hand health risks and issues faced by Indigenous Australians.

“Nursing is one of the most crucial roles in positively changing the health inequality many Indigenous Australians are faced with, especially in rural and remote regions,” Tyeena said.

Tyeena’s late great-grandmother, Hazel Sewter, was a nurse in Burketown in the 1950s.

“When I told her I was studying nursing she was so proud,” Tyeena said.

“Nana showed me that being a nurse is someone who is strong when faced with adversity, contributes to their community and a person whose heart is truly in it to better the lives of others.”

Tyeena, a descendant of the Kalkaltungu tribe on her father’s side, with ties to the Gangalidda, Lardil, Waanyi and Pitta Pitta on her mother’s side, said her heritage and roots are what grounds and shapes her as a person.

“My parents have never shielded me away from the deep-rooted issues of our communities,” she said.

“Mum never wanted me to be oblivious to our people’s needs, but to know what is wrong and work hard to have the means to change it.”

Tyeena is full of praise for the Bachelor of Nursing Science course she is studying at Mount Isa.

“It has showed me a vast number of nursing areas I can pursue to further my scope of practice in a rural and remote setting,” she said.

“Studying at the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health has allowed me to continue living in Mount Isa and maintain the same high quality education that I would receive in the cities, just with a smaller cohort.”

As for her future, Tyeena said she looked forward to her journey from student to registered nurse.

“My parents worked hard to provide me with the resources and support to go to university and aided me to find my passion for helping people,” she said.

“I will strive to be a nurse who helps someone, no matter what, and to be a kind and caring person that people would be willing to trust with their care.”

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