BENDIGO doctor Skye Kinder has been inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in the emerging leader category.
Dr Kinder was among 23 remarkable women who were recognised across diverse fields such as business, education, health and medical research, child welfare, gender equity and public life.
"It's a pretty incredible feeling," she said.
"Just yesterday, I was meeting a group of young women who were in Year 10 at Weerona College and we were talking about mentorship and how important it was to have a mentor because you can't be what you can't see.
"To get this recognition, the first thing that came into my mind was that I really hope it shows those young women that regional women can be represented across the state."
Each year, the honour roll celebrates exceptional women in Victoria who have made significant and lasting contributions to the community.
Young people from the country, we can change the world.Skye Kinder
Women were able to self-nominate for the first time in 2021 - resulting in the most nominations ever representing diverse women from across Victoria.
The latest inductees join more than 700 women named in the honour roll since the program began in 2001.
"I was absolutely surprised when I heard and I don't think you do advocacy work with the expectation that you will be recognised in this sort of way," Dr Kinder said.
"It's certainly lovely to be recognised and it's a good opportunity for me to continue to raise awareness for the issues I am passionate about which is the mental health of central Victorians."
Dr Kinder said it was an amazing feeing to be representing regional Victoria and central Victoria at a state level.
"I often say that Bendigo is my first love and I think that's true, we have a wonderful community spirit in central Victoria and not just in Bendigo but in the surrounding towns as well," she said.
"I have said this many times but it's because of the support of the community that I have been able to do the work that I do.
"When we are in a privileged position like this, it's important to use these recognitions to further the causes that need attention and for me in particular that is rural mental health."
Dr Kinder is a passionate advocate for rural and other marginalised patients and their communities.
She was recognised as 2017 Victoria's Junior Doctor of the Year, and she was a finalist for Australia and New Zealand Junior Doctor of the Year. She was later named 2019 Young Victorian of the Year and 2019 Victoria's Young Australian of the Year. Skye has been featured on the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence list and is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honouree.
She hoped this would show other regional girls and women that most things were possible.
"Young people from the country, we can change the world," she said.
"A lot of young people in the country, here a narrative that they are made to feel like they aren't as good or as able as some of the young people from the city and that's just not true."
A full list of the women inducted can be found here.
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