Sarah Blackwell

Sarah Blackwell

Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine
Sarah is currently studying a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine, majoring in anatomy and minoring in immunology. Sarah explains what it's like to study at the University of Sydney as an Indigenous science student.

Why did you choose your degree?

I've always been captivated by disease and caring for people. I knew that health and medical science was the path I wanted to take. Nevertheless, given my background, school and area I was from, I honestly thought it impossible to get into my degree. I jumped at the opportunity when the University of Sydney offered it to me.

What challenges did you face when transitioning into university life in Sydney?

My academic life had a rocky start, because I wasn't prepared for university life at all. No one in my life had ever done what I was doing. In addition, due to the heavy study hours as a first year science student, I had to make the decision to move from my family home in the lower Blue Mountains into University accommodation. With the emotional and financial support of the Mana Yura team, I was able to work out how to do university successfully.

Have you been involved in anything outside the classroom?

Yes, I completed an observational placement as part of my double degree at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. This opened my eyes to different avenues a science degree can take, as well as different ways to use my medical education. Also, last year I undertook an in-country language unit in Spain. This was such an incredible experience, to see a different culture and a different university culture, it was amazing, I would highly recommend it.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I want to focus on women's health, especially for Indigenous women. Growing up surrounded by strong aboriginal women, I feel it's my duty to give back to my community and those who have encouraged and inspired me.

Any advice for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are thinking about studying at the University of Sydney?

I would say take the leap and try your best, you never know what you could achieve. The University of Sydney has so much support to help you reach your goals. You may not realised your goals yet, but you never know what could be possible unless you ask and have a go.