Miss Liana Bryant1
1Mt Isa Hospital, Mt Isa, Australia
Home is where the heart is
Roxborough Downs is a 208000 hectare station located 230km from Boulia on the Queensland/NT border; my home. Growing up here opened my eyes to the harsh realities of living in a rural/remote area, particularly the impact distance has on people in rural and remote areas. I had firsthand experience about the uniqueness of rural/remote communities, which is not always understood in healthcare. It was all too common to hear my community speak about their poor health as the ‘norm’. This fuelled a passion to enter into Occupational Therapy as an opportunity to make a significant, meaningful difference.
Changing my landscape
I attended university in Townsville and had the opportunity to learn about a realistic expectation of health, and that the “normal” experienced in rural/remote locations, should not to be accepted without question. I suddenly had an overwhelming sense of grief and sadness for my local community and others in similar settings. I was hit with the realisation that the healthcare they received was vastly different to those in Townsville, due to the fact that they chose to live where they did.
Upon graduation I decided to return ‘home’ to western Queensland and grasp the opportunity to put into practice the combination of my rural background with the knowledge and skills received from a regional area. I can now work towards bridging the gap between regional-based health education and a deep understanding of, and link to, rural and remote people and their communities.
Liana grew up on Roxborough Downs station which is located approximately 240km from the small town of Boulia in western Queensland. Liana received the SARRAH Nursing and Allied Health Undergraduate scholarship while studying Occupational Therapy in Townsville. This scholarship greatly assisted her to complete her studies, obtaining a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. She has since returned to western Queensland where she now works as an Occupational Therapist at the North West Hospital and Health Service based in Mt Isa. Liana has also worked across the North West and Lower Gulf of Queensland and is passionate about rural and remote healthcare.