Dr Jessica King: an inspiration for the inaugural scholarship recipient

Ms Taylor Glover, recipient of the Jessica King Scholarship Jessica King Scholarship, Taylor Glover, Indigenous, student, scholarship, Aboriginal, identity
14 December 2022

When Ms Taylor Glover shared the idea of becoming a doctor with her high school Careers Advisor she was told that nursing or another career path in health care may be more suitable.

Instead of contemplating other options, the lack of support from the Careers Advisor only fuelled a fire within her to make the idea of becoming a doctor a reality.

“For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in pursuing a career in health care and the idea of surgery originally drew me to medicine,” Ms Glover shared.

Despite initially failing to gain a place at a medical school, Ms Glover decided to pursue another pathway – going on to complete a second undergraduate degree - enrolling in a Bachelor of Pre-Medicine, Science and Health program.

Ms Glover is the first in family to finish high school and to graduate from university, and is now working towards attaining a post-graduate qualification in the Doctor of Medicine and Surgery program at the Australian National University (ANU).

She credits the Indigenous Health team led by Dr Stewart Sutherland, a Wiradjuri Man, for opening her eyes to the importance of cultural identity.

“I’d always known I was Aboriginal but never identified. My Grandmother was part of the Stolen Generation and was taken from Crown St Women’s Hospital in 1938.”

“Since discovering through the Indigenous Health Stream that it is vitally important to identify, for a myriad of reasons, including health statistics, and forming a reciprocal relationship with the community, I’ve embraced my Aboriginal identity as a Gadigal Woman.”

“I don’t think that I would have encompassed my culture and history if I hadn’t landed at ANU medicine.”

“The connections that I’ve made at medical school have also influenced my aims in medicine. I was always interested in Women and Children’s Health, but I’m moving towards becoming a Rural Generalist. This means that I’d get to enjoy the perks of rural living while performing a range of health procedures, including surgery,” Ms Glover explained.

To support her through her studies, Ms Glover has been awarded the inaugural Jessica King Scholarship.

Named after the first Aboriginal medical student to graduate from ANU in 2014, the scholarship ensures Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students are given the opportunity to enter medical school unencumbered by financial constraints.

The four-year scholarship, provided by the Weltverbesserung (which literally translates to ‘world be-betterment’) Fund, is under the directorship of former ANU medical school alumna Dr Estee Wah, her husband Mr James Wah, Ms Katja Mouvlin and Mr Travis Ficarra.

Dr Wah said, “It’s one of the ways we’re using our position of good fortune to make our world a bit more equitable, and we feel lucky to be able to do it”.

Dr Jessica King is an absolute inspiration, not only as an Aboriginal person, but as a woman in medicine. I think that a scholarship in her name is a beautiful testament to her role model behaviour and for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community,” Ms Glover said.

“I admire that Dr King overcame many biases and skewed perceptions in her life, as a lot of us do. I’m proud to follow in her footsteps and, like her, want to contribute to improving health inequities in regional and rural Australia.”