Trio keen to tackle health inequities

Celebrating graduating on Saturday with bachelor of health science degrees specialising in Māori...
Celebrating graduating on Saturday with bachelor of health science degrees specialising in Māori Health are (from left) Hineani Campbell-Collier, Amelie Laing and Gabby Gray. PHOTOS: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A trio of graduating health science students want to make a difference in addressing inequities in the health system.

Amelie Laing, Hineani Campbell-Collier and Gabby Gray were among the more than 750 students who graduated in person at the Dunedin Town Hall on Saturday.

It was a busy day in the city, as a throng of students formed the procession.

The trio all became friends through the course, and they admitted "the cold" of Dunedin took some time to get used to.

"It’s been three long, eventful years," Ms Campbell-Collier said.

As their studies began during the tail-end of the Covid-19 pandemic, "a lot of perseverance" was required to get through the tricky moments, Ms Gray said.

"Our friendships really got us through the difficult times."

All three graduated in health science with majors in Maori health.

"I would urge anyone to give it a go," Ms Laing said.

"I learned a lot about myself in the process."

She decided to study Maori health because she was concerned about the inequities in the health system, and wanted to make a difference, she said.

"You learn so much about your culture, and it gives you a real sense of belonging."

Ms Gray agreed.

"It’s about the health of all people."

The trio’s parents were all "very impressed" with their achievements, Ms Campbell-Collier said.

"Today is about family," she said.

And all three said they wanted to put their degrees to good use in the working world.

"It’s our chance to make a difference," Ms Gray said.

Graduates converge outside the Dunedin Town Hall.
Graduates converge outside the Dunedin Town Hall.
On Saturday, graduation ceremonies were held at 1pm for degrees and diplomas in commerce, law, bachelors of arts and commerce and bachelors of commerce and science, and 4pm for degrees and diplomas in applied science, surveying, biomedical sciences, health sciences, science, education and teaching.

These ceremonies capped off a busy week for graduations from the University of Otago, as more than 2100 students accepted their degrees and diplomas in person over six separate ceremonies.