Indigenous health student wins prestigious national scholarship

Published 6 March 2017

Markas Jacobsen
Markas Jacobsen has been awarded the prestigious Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship to study osteopathy - Test

Southern Cross University Indigenous student Markas Jacobsen has been awarded the prestigious Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship to study osteopathy.

The first-year Bachelor of Clinical Sciences student completed the Preparing for Success Program last year to gain university entry and has now received the competitive national, externally-awarded Indigenous scholarship worth up to $15,000 a year.

The Australian Government initiative is designed to encourage and assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate students in health-related disciplines to complete their studies and join the health workforce.

The scheme was established in recognition of Dr Arnold ‘Puggy’ Hunter's significant contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and his role as Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

“I decided to study osteopathy after I injured myself playing sports and a mate recommended I should come to the SCU Health Clinic at the University’s Gold Coast campus,” Markas said.

“The osteopathy student I was seeing at the clinic on campus was telling me about the course at Southern Cross which initially got me really interested in it.”

The rigorous scholarship application included in-depth questioning regarding career ambitions, sacrifices for study and how Markas would benefit from the support.

“I wrote about how I have to give up fulltime employment to study and how I want to one day use my role as an osteopath to promote health in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities,” the Tugun local said.

“I have experience and training as a personal trainer and I am interested in helping people with their overall health and wellbeing.

“Osteopaths treat all kinds of joint and muscular pain but also look at the client’s whole lifestyle, including how long they sit or stand in their job and making subtle adjustments to promote better overall health, which extends beyond the treatments in clinic.”

The 24-year-old is on the Young Leaders Embracing 2018 reference group, established through the City of Gold Coast as a legacy initiative of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“It’s exciting to be part of a group which is so passionate about helping create a sporting and cultural legacy in the city after the Games,” he said.

Markas is also passionate about helping other students find the best career path for them, volunteering as a Southern Cross University careers ambassador during Orientation.

“The careers team narrowed it down and helped me so much when I was still trying to decide between three different courses,” he said.

“Now I’ve been telling new students about what the careers team offers and how they can help.

“I completed the Preparing for Success at SCU Program and am now studying the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences as a pathway to the graduate entry osteopathy.”

Photo caption: Southern Cross University student Markas Jacobsen.

Media contact: Jessica Huxley media officer, Southern Cross University Gold Coast, 07 5589 3024 or 0417 288 794.