Future doctor awarded DWC Scholarship

06 December 2023
Development West Coast
Cameron Dickey has been awarded one of the 2024 Development West Coast (DWC) tertiary scholarships.

The Greymouth High School graduate is set to embark on a journey in Health Science, majoring in Medicine, at the University of Otago.

Cameron's fascination with the human body began in his early childhood.

“I was (and still am) absolutely fascinated with skeletons and the human body and as silly as it sounds, the introduction of a skeleton model named ‘Sam’, during kindergarten ignited an obsession that would shape my journey,” Cameron reflects.

“Ever since then my goal has been to become a doctor.”

From the age of six, Cameron became an active member of St. John and has since represented the South Island in national St John competitions.

“I started respite caring for my neighbour at thirteen and then finally becoming a healthcare assistant at Te Nīkau Hospital at the age of sixteen,” he said.

His experiences in healthcare reinforced his ambition to become a doctor, particularly to address the underrepresentation of Māori and rural workers in the medical field.

“I am honoured to have such a great opportunity that will support me during the Health Sciences First Year programme and hopefully my entrance into medicine at Otago University,” Cameron says.

This support also extends to his ongoing role at Te Nikau hospital, allowing him to continue his practical learning journey.

Raised on the West Coast, Cameron attributes his values and aspirations to his upbringing.

“Growing up within Te Tai o Poutini has given me more experiences and opportunities than if I was brought up in a city. The West Coast’s closely knit community has given me the ability to build connections, support and friends that will last a lifetime.

“I am excited to come back to the coast after my studies to the place I call home,” he shares.

DWC awards four scholarships annually, and to date, there have been 12 recipients. The scholarships aim to cultivate and retain talented West Coast youth by eliminating barriers to training and employment.

Each scholarship, valued at up to $32,500, offers more than financial aid. Recipients also receive summer work opportunities and a guaranteed job in the West Coast after completing their tertiary education, ensuring a bright future for both the students and the region.

“The support that the Development West Coast scholarship offers is phenomenal,” Cameron says. “This scholarship allows me to worry less about the financial burden of tertiary education and put more energy into study, whilst ultimately helping me towards my goals for Māori and rural healthcare in my community.”

2024 Scholarship Recipients