29 May 2015

Koori student wins Victorian Graduate Award

Image student Arimaya Yates

Arimaya is currently completing her Master in Science (Nursing).

Koori midwife, single mother and advocate for indigenous people, Arimaya Yates has eye on completing a Master of Science (Nursing research).

As a passionate birth activist with a strong interest in the anthropology of birth, Arimaya became more involved in research when she began her work in research and qualitative data with Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation for the Koori Maternity Services. Through her involvement, she developed, coordinated and delivered the ‘Sacred Sista’s’ project, which is run by the Wulumperi unit at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre. The Scared Sista’s project was developed to keep Aboriginal women empowered around their sexual and reproductive health. The intention behind the project was to create change for women through education, research and advocacy on high levels.

At present, Arimaya is in the process of completing her Master of Science (Nursuing) through research under the supervision of Professor Eleanor Holroyd and Dr Leanne Sheeran. Her master focuses specifically on ‘Exploring women’s experiences of traumatic birth in Victorian maternity settings: An ethnographic approach’. This work aims to explore women’s meaningful experiences of trauma during childbirth, discovering the areas where women express agency in birth and the areas where women need more support. Arimaya hopes to transgress into her PhD later this year where the project can go on to further explore gaps in relationship between women and their care providers, with a view to inform policy changes in hospitals to reduce the experience of traumatic birth for women and improve maternity care provisions.

Recognising Arimaya’s hard work and dedication to create positive change, a $3000 scholarship through Graduate Women Victoria has been awarded to her. These funds aim to support women who have overcome hardships to continue in their education in higher degrees. For Arimaya, these funds have provided relief in completing her studies as she overcomes health issues, severe financial hardships and homelessness and being the sole parent to two beautiful children.

Congratulations Arimaya on your award but more importantly for the work you do in creating positive change.

For more information about the award, visit Graduate Women Victoria.

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