Thomas Hooper on NAIDOC Week

As a young Aboriginal man, NAIDOC Week has a lot of meaning for both me personally and for my family.  It means coming together with those close to me and yarning about the history that surrounds us and remembering our ancestors for who they once were.

My name is Thomas Hooper and I am a proud Biripri man who grew up in the small country town of Wauchope on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales. I am currently in my fourth year of studying a Bachelor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle, with 2021 being my final year. I have been an AVCAT Scholar for the past three years and am very thankful for the support I have received throughout my degree and I hope I have made a lasting impression. I aim to work rurally as a Doctor when I finish in the hopes of giving back to the communities that need it most and those at a disadvantage, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Thomas in 2019 – on placement in Nepal

As a young Aboriginal man, NAIDOC Week has a lot of meaning for both me personally and for my family.  It means coming together with those close to me and yarning about the history that surrounds us and remembering our ancestors for who they once were. NAIDOC Week is about connecting with other nations around us and learning about their ancestors and traditions. It means being able to celebrate my culture and being proud of where I come from and who I am. I feel this week allows us to really embrace the meaning of ‘Always was, always will be’ and allows us to truly be recognized as the First Nation.

Thomas was awarded the TPI NSW Scholarship in 2017.

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