Since graduating from Caulfield Campus in 2019, Medika has thrown herself into her work, culture and community as she continually strives for improvement and keeps the big picture in mind.
Caulfield Grammar Days
Medika is a proud Gunditjmara, Narrunga, Wemba Wemba and Gunnai woman, who is originally from Melbourne but has also spent time living in country Victoria as well as regional South Australia. In 2018 Medika came to Caulfield on a Foundation Scholarship and was thrown headfirst into the life in the boarding house. The boarding house was Medika’s first taste of independency as she was forced to live and go to school away from her family and friends as she navigated a new school and a fully booked class timetable. From the simple things like washing clothes and keeping her room clean to the opportunities that she never thought that she’d have the chance to do such as playing water polo, Medika is forever grateful for the time she got to spend in the boarding house. Medika is especially grateful for the bond she formed with Tim Gallop, who always put her first and made her feel like family whilst she was away from her own.
“The fondest memories I have of Caulfield are those of people that had an impact on me in the time I was there, whether you were someone I only saw around occasionally or someone who I saw a lot, you all made my time at that school very valuable, and I won’t ever forget you”.
Clothing The Gaps
After graduating and finishing her Year 12 studies, Medika took her first steps into the ‘real world’ after high school with a move to Mount Gambier, SA, to live with her dad’s side of the family. Medika moved to find work but found it increasingly hard in a small country town and so after weeks of trying to find a job, she moved back to Melbourne and started working casually for Clothing The Gaps.
“I think moving back from Mount Gambier to the city is what I needed to do initially, to know where I am grounded and where I knew there were going to be lots of opportunities for me to thrive”.
Medika is lucky to have her aunty who is the co-founder of Clothing The Gaps. Medika had been around the business for a number of years as she worked casually whilst studying, often helping out with festivals and markets, and just really enjoying her time in the field and being able to be hands on within the community. Since then, Medika’s has completed her traineeship and expanded to a 9-5 role which consists of helping develop health promotion strategies.
Clothing The Gaps exist to get Aboriginal people and Communities moving so that years are added to Aboriginal people’s lives. Medika has loved being able to play a significant part in this space but above all else, her favourite thing about what she does is the people she works with.
“It is a safe blank space and you simply just can’t get that anywhere and everywhere. I also love getting out and working with community and family to try and improve the overall health of my people”.
One change that Medika hopes to see in her industry and in general is more blak advocacy. Medika wants to see more Aboriginal faces in spaces they aren’t usually in. With increased exposure there is an increase of opportunity and awareness for organisations like Clothing The Gaps to make significant impacts in areas that need it.
Although Medika has loved her time at Clothing The Gaps, she has also started to think about what is next for her. When her contract ends, Medika looks to expand her horizons and see what more life has to offer. This might entail a career change up as well as possibly another move as she is torn between the life in the city, where opportunities are plentiful, or moving to her ancestor’s country to get back outdoors for a breath of fresh air.
Like many other young people, Medika doesn’t know what she wants to do for the rest of her life. Despite this, she knows that she loves working with community, working with her people and still wants to help others through a health promotion lens. Medika doesn’t know what she wants to do in 5-10 years’ time but knows she wants to be stable and happy in whatever she is doing. Becoming a homeowner is a massive goal for Medika, whilst having the opportunity to get out, seeing more of the world and meeting new people are all things that Medika has to look forward too.
Keeping reading about our Young Alumni Tell Their Stories Month ambassadors with our profile on Gabby Coffey (Class of 2018), netballer and Mentor with the Killara Foundation.
This profile was written as part of our Young Alumni Tell Their Stories Month – a month of content (including a social media takeover) by young alumni for young alumni. This initiative forms part of our broader Young Alumni Ambassador Program (YAAP).