My name is Matihya Chin (Miya) and I am originally from Bangkok, Thailand. Although I do consider myself Thai, I in fact grew up in a very multicultural family- my stepfather is from Brazil and my mother is half Thai & Irish. I was raised in Bangkok for most of my life and moved to Australia in 2018 to pursue a career in Medicine. I am currently studying the Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Public Health at the University of Queensland and it was without a doubt one of the best decisions I have ever made. Living and studying in Australia has opened my eyes to a completely different perspective of health and illness, as public health is not an available option back home.
I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Medicine from a very young age because of the prominent health and enormous health and economic disparities faced by disadvantaged communities in Thailand. Due to this, I have constantly volunteered in multiple local schools, charities, and organisations such as the Thai Red Cross, to help improve the quality of life of individuals and communities. In addition to my passion for community service, my motivation to pursue a career in health also largely stems from my long-standing interest in science and human rights from a young age.
Outside of work and university my passions include travelling, yoga, and learning about different country’s cuisine.
After completing my studies and am able to fully practice as I doctor, I would love to travel overseas and work with ‘Medecins Sans Frontieres’ to help countries and communities facing humanitarian conflict and endemic diseases.
I am truly excited to embark on my health journey with ASHM International and would like to thank you for giving me with the opportunity to intern at ASHM. I look forward to meeting everyone in the team during the team meeting and learning more about the organisation.
My name is Jessica Ungaro and I am in my third year of a Bachelor of Health Sciences (major in Public Health) at The University of Queensland. I was born in Sydney where I then moved to Groote Eylandt, Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory where I spent most of my primary and some of my high school years. From this experience I gained an understanding of remote communities and Indigenous culture. My interest in health and helping people stemmed from my exposure to remote Indigenous communities. I think that Public Health is very important, particularly upstream prevention and health promotion mostly due to our current ageing population and our chronic diseases.
I have been fortunate enough to have received a placement opportunity through ASHM which allows me to experience public health in action. I had particular interest in ASHM as they aim to offer culturally appropriate education and training to support people of all backgrounds which can work to eliminate stigma and ultimately help to eliminate Blood Born Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections. I hope that through this internship I will gain skills such as increased communication skills, research skills and the ability to work efficiently by prioritising tasks in order to meet a project deadline.
After completing my degree in Public Health, I plan to continue my studies to gain an allied health role in radiography where I further hope to help and care for people while using the skills learnt in public health.
Why did you choose ASHM for your internship, and what do you hope to learn from it?
To be brutally honest, the process of the placement at the university includes an interview with the course coordinator. They go over a list of interest and answers to questions we complete and match us with a place they think we could thrive at, enjoy, and learn from. I am one of those people that find many topics exciting. However, chronic health management is of special interest to me. When I hear that I’ve been matched with ASHM I immediately researched the organisation and the type of work I might be doing in the future. I was happy to learn of the different projects ASHM is involved and ultimately knew I was in the right place. I can’t wait to learn as much as possible and contribute to the work ASHM does. I’d like to think that at times, we do not know what we don’t know, so I am more than open to learn anything in the field, from practical work skills to how to think about different situations. I hope to learn what it’s like to work in an organisation like ASHM which focuses on health promotion, research, and more, but is not an academic setting (such as conducting research as part of the university). I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering to research in the past but it’s always been within the university.
What are your career aims for the future?
I hope to gain entry to medicine, a field I’ve always been interested in, either following my Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health) or a Master of Public Health. From some personal experience, life has a funny way of now always going according to plan, hence I do know what my end goal is I am just not set on the path I will take to get there. I love public health and helping people, which is ultimately my goal.