Griffith Health's 2020 Outstanding First Peoples Alumnus

Doctor of Medicine 

Bachelor of Medical Science

Dr Blake Jones is a Birpai man, born in the Mid North Coast NSW town of Port Macquarie and later raised on the Gold Coast.

He is currently working as a junior house officer in renal medicine in Toowoomba and has recently completed a rotation to Goondiwindi. His career aspirations are to be a rural and regional physician, which stemmed from a variety of placements whilst studying at Griffith University. These included:

  • Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement
  • Palm Island Family Medical Centre
  • Clifton Medical Practice
  • Gympie Hospital
  • Toowoomba Hospital

At only 25 years of age, he is quickly establishing himself as a well respected and community centric physician, eager to support his community and fellow, early career doctors.

He served on the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association Student Representative Council (AIDA), a position that involved providing advice to the Director on issues, challenges and successes faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students at Griffith University. He continues as an active member of AIDA.

For two years he also served as the Indigenous portfolio coordinator for the rural health club HOPE4HEALTH. The focus of this portfolio was to promote positive ATSI health messages to students and the wider community. As part of this role, Blake volunteered to be the Master of Ceremonies for the HOPE4HEALTH Sunset Soiree, a charity fundraiser that raised $11,500 for the Seed Foundation Australia, an organisation providing pathways to higher education for young Indigenous people in rural communities.

In recent years, he has mentored ATSI high school students as part of the ‘Aspirations and Pathways to Health’ and ‘Hands Up!’ Programs, initiatives that strive to encourage students from rural backgrounds to pursue tertiary studies at university.

"I have a strong passion for medical education, First Peoples health, and rural medicine," Dr Jones said.

He also presented at the ‘Griffith University First Peoples Health in Medicine Symposium’ and ‘HESTA Indigenous Health Workforce Forum’, speaking on his experiences as a medical student having undertaken placements across metropolitan and remote regions.

Dr Jones has since been working with the First People’s Health Unit and Queensland Rural Medical Education to establish a mentoring pathway for First Peoples medical students. Still engaged with his Griffith community, he provides mentorship, pastoral care and study support for Griffith rural students. Additionally, he is mentor for the Toowoomba Hospital interns.

"In this role I provide tuition, clinical teaching and remediation to medical students; develop learning resources and provide mentorship to Griffith ‘Longlook’ students; and facilitate educational hub days," said Dr Jones.

He was on an expert panel for research advice, in the role of lead auditor for Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement. The audit is now complete.

"The project was an internal clinical audit titled ‘Implementation and quality of MBS 715 Health Assessments’. It seeks to investigate the uptake and outcomes of dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient health assessments performed at a Toowoomba Aboriginal Medical Service," said Dr Jones.

Dr Jones' mounting achievements and dedication to the medical fields, his First Peoples community and emerging physicians, has seen him named as Griffith Health's 2020 Outstanding First Peoples Alumnus.

"This award is a testament to the support I've received along the way. The mentors who offered unconditional encouragement and the First Peoples health workers who laid down the foundation for the path I'm currently on - It's on the shoulders of these giants which I stand as an Aboriginal doctor!" Dr Jones said.

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