Drawing on family inspiration to deliver community healing

Sevenoaks Senior College graduate, Dianna Wright, says her first year of study at
Notre Dame has been rewarding, due to the support from University staff

25 August 2015

Witnessing the decline in health of her grandmother, combined with the desire to improve mental health in Aboriginal communities, motivated Dianna Wright to study Nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia in Fremantle.

Dianna, a graduate of Sevenoaks Senior College, says her first year enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing (Articulation Pathway for Enrolled Nursing diploma) hasn’t been without its challenges, but the support from Notre Dame staff has been encouraging.

The Darwin-born student has a close connection to Western Australia’s Kimberley region where she had spent much of younger life. Dianna’s father is Nigerian whilst her mother was born in Bidyadanga, an Aboriginal community approximately 180km south of Broome.

Dianna says her grandmother was her main inspiration for studying Nursing at Notre Dame. With chronic kidney disease, Dianna has watched the state of her grandmother’s health slowly decline to the point where she is on dialysis three days a week and requiring 24-hour care.

In addition to educating her family about these severe health conditions, Dianna’s goal is to return to the Kimberley to work in the area of mental health. Drawing upon personal experiences, Dianna says it is important for people to seek assistance if they are experiencing psychological trauma.

“Just in the last three years, I have lost four friends to suicide. I don’t want other families to lose their loved ones in this manner. Lately, there have been several cases of people taking their own lives, particularly in Aboriginal communities. I want to be able to turn these negative thoughts into positive ones,” Dianna said.

With ample opportunities to seek clinical placements in metropolitan and regional locations through Notre Dame’s School of Nursing & Midwifery, Dianna says she feels encouraged to achieve her future goals.

“The staff in the School of Nursing & Midwifery are so supportive towards not just myself but other students as well. When they see that potential in students they really encourage us to continue with our studies,” Dianna said.

“I had a clinical placement in Broome earlier this year so I was able to go home to see my family which was delightful. I’m grateful to Notre Dame for these making opportunities available to students.”

Applications are now open to study in 2016. For course listings and admissions information, please visit notredame.edu.au.

Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093; leigh.dawson@nd.edu.au