A medical misdiagnosis at the age of 14 first sparked my awareness to health. The transition from an inactive teenager with an incredible sweet tooth, to exercising daily and consuming nourishing foods, was an unwelcomed but imperative move for my immediate health and recovery. Despite my initial resistance, I began to realise the impact good dietary patterns had on my health, mood, energy and performance at school. I first hand, experienced how a shift in lifestyle could change my life and at that time, dedicated myself to helping others do the same.
My journey and relationship with food through those later teenage years, however, wasn't an easy one. After healing my relationship with food, I continued to hold great value in my health. Whilst exploring the world in my 1 turned 4 gap years between high school and university, my eyes were opened to the vast culture of cuisine across the globe. Experiences in third world countries educated me of the disparity in health and education and further spurred my fire for wanting to help others live a better quality of life.
These life experiences inspired me to complete a bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition). However, I didn't just want to be a professional in the field of nutrition, I wanted to be an expert leading the way for health professionals and the community, hence my continuation to my current Masters of Dietetics degree.
My Master's degree has challenged and enriched me in a way I didn't think possible. The knowledge and skill required by a dietitian to practice has obtained my utmost respect and admiration. The teaching staff do an exemplary job in advancing our skills through their expert knowledge and offering practical opportunities. I'm being educated in highly advanced medical nutrition therapy backed by cutting edge scientific evidence, research, business, counseling, clinical and practical skills all imperative in being a successful dietitian.
I'm fortunate enough to come from a strongly entrepreneurial family, where creative thinking and a drive to challenge and influence the world was always encouraged. I envision a future where everyone has the ability to improve their health and quality of life through access to immediate and reliable healthcare, especially in areas with limited access, including rural and remote Australia. It's my dream to begin to reduce the burden of diet-disease using technology and evidence-based practice to improve people's quality of life. I have a strong interest in the field of Telehealth and a desire to bringing dietetics to the forefront of technology to increase our reach, accessibility and relevance in the healthcare industry.
This scholarship money will allow me to elect for a regional practical placement later this year that will provide me with an enriched learning experience and potential connections for my future ambitions.
My goal as a passionate student and future dietitian is to push the boundaries of the healthcare profession to encourage everyone to live a balanced life to create a better future.
- Gemma Craven, finalist for 2019 PostgradAustralia Scholarship #PGAScholarship