Luana Healey, a Gura Gulu Gunggandji woman from Bilma in the bay of Yarrabah, commenced her first year of studying a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology (Clinical) in 2015 after completing her Year 12 studies at Trinity Bay State High School.
Luana’s decision to study Exercise Physiology was influenced by her love of sports and her strong involvement in AFL, which she has played for four years. In her final year of studies she will begin to work with patients through organised clinical placements.
“Exercise physiologists specialise in delivering exercise and lifestyle programs which prevent and manage chronic diseases and injuries. I like the sporting aspect more because I’d like to end up working with professional AFL teams.”
“I have been told that the Sports Science and Exercise Physiology facilities are of a really high standard. I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to utilise that in Cairns, and not have to move away to be a part of it.”
Having transitioned into university straight from high school, Luana found that JCU’s support services helped her settle into student life.
“The teachers at JCU are very approachable, and if you’re Indigenous there’s always people around to help you.”
“JCU provides so much support and encouragement. Everyone is there for you and it helps you feel like a team. I’m all about being part of a team because of my love for AFL.”
The highlight of Luana’s first year studies has been her involvement with the Indigenous Health Unit’s School Road Show, where she got to spend a week touring local high schools and talking about her degree to young Indigenous students.
“I’d tell future students to not be afraid to reach for the sky because they will get there. Perseverance is important.”
Upon completion of her degree, Luana wants to complete a physiotherapy qualification and ultimately work with professional AFL athletes as a physiotherapist to help with injury prevention.
“Don’t be afraid to dream big and win big – that’s a motto that’s stuck by me."