Australian by Degree – Mary Qurusu, Solomon Islands ( Health )
An Australia Awards scholarship enabled Mary Qurusu to go from being an untrained radiographer to a confident professional, who is now making it possible for the first time for Solomon Islander women to be screened for breast cancer.
Until recently, women in the Solomon Islands were unable to access breast cancer screening services. That changed when Australia Awards scholar Mary Qurusu returned, having successfully completed a Bachelor degree in Medical Radiation and Science at the University of Newcastle.
Mary enjoyed her time in Australia and was impressed by the friendliness of people and in particular the teaching staff at the university. At the same time, the practical education that Mary gained in Australia gave her the professional confidence that she was looking for.
Shortly after her return, a more self-assured Mary convinced her hospital management team to make a new mammogram machine available for breast cancer screening. This was the only such machine in the country. Since then, hundreds of women have been screened and several have had the blessing of an early diagnosis, significantly improving their chances of beating the disease.
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