My name is Dom Barry, 26 years old and my traditional community are the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people. This scholarship is important to me because I believe there is a gap between the lived experience of Aboriginal people in remote communities and the policy makers in faraway places.
I believe lived experience and good evidence need to inform decision makers to adopt appropriate measures to better the lives of our people. Only then might we see a reduction in things like domestic violence and suicide, because we may have better access to relevant culturally responsive psychological services from people who understand the complexities of our culture.
I agree with Tracy’s commentary that one of the most tragic and stark injustices of our time is seeing young Indigenous people choose death over life. I want to be a role model for other young Indigenous people from remote communities in Central Australia and beyond. I believe our most vulnerable Indigenous children should have an equal opportunity to thrive.
Also, I am very community minded and future orientated and I believe if young kids and young adults see me engaging and thriving in a field like Psychology, they will begin to believe that they can do it themselves. I want to become a clinical psychologist working with children, families, and Aboriginal men in the mental health space.
A significant goal for me is to work with young men from remote communities and – through early intervention – aim to initiate preventative measures to reduce the incarceration rates, domestic violence rates, sense of hopelessness (anecdotal evidence from close brothers) and a sense of loss of culture among the men in the communities. By becoming a clinical psychologist, I believe I can help the community to resolve some of the important issues we are facing today as a people and subsequently avoid future issues for later generations.