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Archived News: April 2015

From John Bennett in Rotuma (27 April 2015)

Boat Day at the Wharf in Oinafa

Boat Day

From The Canberra Times (23 April 2014)

Dr. Matt Bray
Dr Matt Bray, of the Canberra Hospital emergency department, has been awarded a fellowship to participate in a high-level UN forum in New York. Photo: Jay Cronan

Young Canberra doctor sets his sights on the United Nations

A 24-year-old doctor working in Canberra Hospital's emergency department will try his hand at diplomacy while attending a high-level United Nations forum in New York.

Dr Matt Bray, a product of Marist College Canberra, said he was honoured to attend the sustainable development forum as part of a fully funded research fellowship.

Dr Bray, who works full time as a resident doctor while completing his Masters in Public Health at James Cook University, will join three others as part of the Global Voices Australian Youth Delegation.

Global Voices, a non-profit organisation that provides opportunities for young Australians to engage in international policy, has official NGO status at the forum, allowing Dr Bray to contribute.

"In the short term my interest is to position myself as a physician with an interest in public health and the Pacific Islands, and then move there within the next two years to practise," he said.

"My family is from Fiji and I spent my formative years there and have been back on several occasions since.

"I studied in Melbourne but am a Canberra boy and graduated from Marist in 2007 before moving to study medicine at Monash University," he said.

Dr Bray said he had a great deal of respect for doctors in Canberra Hospital's emergency department and had learnt from their experience.

"Emergency department physicians are a special breed of doctor as they're on the front line treating people with undiagnosed and extreme conditions, whether they are on verge of death or about to give birth," he said.

"Those experiences as well as my time in Indigenous and Pacific communities shaped my outlook towards my career as being orientated towards those on the edge."

In 2009, Dr Bray founded the Friends4Fiji Initiative, a grassroots development partnership between Australian and Fijian medical students.

Dr Bray said his early experiences in Victorian hospitals had encouraged him to become a public health official and improve access to healthcare.

"While I was there I spent a lot of time working in the outer-eastern suburbs like Frankston and Dandenong and became interested in how migrant communities access healthcare, and the difference in their conditions.

"Those experiences, as well as my time in Indigenous and Pacific communities, shaped my outlook towards my career as being orientated towards those on the edge."

Dr Bray said his scholarship required him to write a research paper on the topics addressed at the United Nations forum.

"I'm writing about climate change and why it's bound to become the greatest health threat to the Pacific Islands, and how it is a missed opportunity not to articulate this nexus.

"The forum will be attended by political and government leaders from different nations who will be making sure there is enough political will to support the goals."

From Fiji Times Online (6 April 2015)

Rotuman youths fast during Easter

by Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

ROTUMAN youths in Suva who attend Churchward Chapel in Rewa Street took time out in doing what a normal teenager would do these days to enjoy the Easter weekend in church.

Youth president Roslyn Robert said the weekend also saw the churchs youth group fasting as they tried to enjoy their lives in their faith.

In support of their children, the parents volunteered to be their caterers during the long weekend.

Ms Robert said they were lucky and grateful to have the support.

Rotuman Youths at Easter

Rotuman youths pose for a photograph during their Easter camp which ended today

Picture: Kimberly Sachs

© Fiji Times Ltd.