Young Victorian Australian of the Year nominee Skye Kinder hopes to affect thousands of people’s lives for the better.
The Bendigo doctor has been recognised for her passion and efforts as a rural health advocate.
Dr Kinder’s passion grew from seeing her father travel regularly to Melbourne for treatment of a lung condition.
“He was told he wouldn’t see my 13th birthday but I am pleased to say I’m 27 and he is still with us,” she said.
“From early on I had a good appreciation of what healthcare was like for people outside the city. It made me realise how much of a difference I could make if I was involved with policy and advocacy.”
Dr Kinder said receiving the nomination reflected a team effort.
“Everything I’m involved in has always been team effort,” she said. “(Rural healthcare) has come a long way.
“A lot of people have worked hard for long time to make positive changes but it (will) take a lot more work to re-invent the metaphorical wheel and make it into a better wheel.”
Dr Kinder hoped young people remember there is no limits on what they can do.
“Anyone can make a big difference,” she said. “One thing that was said to me was if you change one word in a policy, it can affect thousands or hundreds of thousands of people's lives.
“As a doctor, there is so much opportunity to be in those decisions. It’s a waste to not to use it for people you care about, which for me is people in central Victoria and rural areas all over Australia.”