BENDIGO doctor Skye Kinder is among the finalists in the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards.
The 28-year-old said she was speechless to learn she was included in the list.
"It's very unexpected but I'm really honoured, particularly as one of the only women from central Victoria to make the list," Dr Kinder said.
She has been named in the local and regional category, alongside women recognised for their diverse contributions to rural and regional communities.
Dr Kinder said her inclusion was specifically around rural health and advocacy for unrecognised people in communities - two things she was very passionate about.
Her work has seen her recognised with a number of awards and honours, including being named Victoria's 2019 Young Australian of the Year.
She is also Young Victorian of the Year and the winner of the Regional Development Victorian Regional Leadership and Innovation Award.
One of the things she hoped would come from being considered a woman of influence was helping to show other young women in central Victoria what was possible.
"I never expected to be able to make a list list this," Dr Kinder said.
"It was never even remotely in my wildest dreams."
She said she felt like 'a bit of an impostor' to be on a list that also included the likes of Professor Kerryn Phelps, who was the Australian Medical Association's first female president.
Professor Phelps went on to serve in both federal and local politics.
Being on a list with someone who had been at the forefront of making change for women in medicine was "pretty incredible", Dr Kinder said.
She was looking forward to meeting many of the other Women of Influence at a gala dinner in Sydney on October 22, where the overall winner and winners in each of the 10 categories will be announced.
Speaking at the Zonta Club of Bendigo's International Women's Day dinner earlier this year, Dr Kinder provided an insight into her journey to become a doctor.
From being the first in her family and one of few in her graduating class at college to consider going to university, she is now training in psychiatry through the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
Dr Kinder today reinforced her gratitude for the part the region had played in supporting her career, and her hopes for other young central Victorians - particularly women.
"Everything I have ever done has been supported by our community. The amount our community has given me is a debt I will never be able to repay, but I will attempt to repay," Dr Kinder said.
She said she was proud to represent central Victoria, and believed she wouldn't be the last woman from the region to make the 100 Women of Influence list.
"We have a lot of really fabulous young women in central Victoria," Dr Kinder said.
"I'm expecting to see their names on this list in future."
She was hopeful they would not only be able to achieve anything she had been able to achieve, but to "absolutely outdo" her, bringing the whole community forward with them.
"I think we've got a few Young Victorians and Young Australians in there and certainly a few Women of Influence," Dr Kinder said.
"I think they will set new bars I never would have dreamed of".
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