Everyday People PNG : Olivia Ephraim

Olivia Ephraim is an Australia Awards scholar with more than ten years of experience in clinical and public health.

She commenced her Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne in 2020, specialising in gender, health and society.

Ephraim is passionate about addressing and preventing gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea. Having worked with the Family Support Centre at the Port Moresby General Hospital since 2015, she has seen many cases of gender-based violence.

She believes Papua New Guinea is suffering from a public health crisis and is dedicated to finding solutions.

“I provide medical and psychological care for victims of gender-based and family violence and child abuse. I have seen and managed over 1,000 cases,” Ephraim says. “The alarming number of cases requires strategic intervention. This is why I decided to undertake postgraduate studies at the University of Melbourne.

“The Australia Awards scholarship is helping me achieve my dream. This course will enhance my work experience in addressing and preventing the issues of gender-based and family violence, child abuse, sexual reproductive, mental and psychological health.

"The University of Melbourne is ranked ninth in the world for pre-clinical, clinical and health [studies], and first in Australia. The academic staff have extensive experience and depth of knowledge and are leaders in their fields.

“The course has broadened my knowledge and enhanced my skills. I believe I will utilise it to address the public health crisis in our country.”

Ephraim is looking forward to finishing her studies in July 2022 and plans to apply what she has learnt to tackle gender-based violence through evidence-based policies, consultations and training.

She encourages interested Australia Awards applicants to apply for what she describes as a life-changing, prestigious award.

Reflecting on her experiences, she advises: “There are challenges studying in a COVID-19 environment. But do not hesitate or be anxious to apply for this scholarship that can bring your career to the next level, develop leadership skills and extend your networking.”

Applications for Australia Awards scholarships for study are now open and will close on 29 April.

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