Myles McKenzie

I am a proud Barundji man. My Country is on the Paroo river area, west of Burke in New South Wales. The language of my people is the barkandji language. It was thought to be lost forever, however, an Elder was found who still spoke the language and a primary school in Wilcannia took on a project to document and keep our language alive. I have a booklet on my language and am attempting to learn various words. I am hoping to visit my land over the university break and connect with my community and strengthen my culture.
I applied for this scholarship after watching and researching the works and studies of Dr Tracy Westerman. Dr Westerman’s passion for Indigenous mental health and reducing Indigenous suicide coincides with my own drive for increasing mental wellbeing among my Indigenous brothers and sisters and ensuring that we have Indigenous psychologists who understand our cultural and spiritual influences on our mental health. The scholarship would allow me the opportunity to expand my experience in rural and remote communities and continue my studies, whilst also allowing me to research Indigenous youth mental health in these communities.
I am currently completing my second year of my Bachelor of psychology with honours with an expected completion date of November 2022. I then intend on studying my clinical master’s in psychology at James Cook University in Townsville, and doing some of my clinical placement in rural Queensland hospitals such as in Hughenden and Mount Isa. During my master’s degree, I plan on examining Indigenous youth mental health and attempting to determine the effect of western social structure on their mental health. At the completion of my clinical Masters, I intend on travelling around rural and remote Indigenous communities and working as an indigenous psychologist in these areas to treat and assist a variety of Indigenous people in need.