Becoming an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professional has been a bittersweet journey for Levina.
"I decided to get into health care because a lot of my family were dying prematurely with diabetes and heart disease," Levina said.
"Unfortunately, health workers see these sorts of conditions every day in our communities."
"These illnesses are preventable and can be managed, we just need to educate our people and support them to make healthy lifestyle changes," she continued.
"As health workers we’re there to empower, support and educate our clients through their whole health journey."
"It's a really great feeling to see our clients come out on the other side, making good choices which are changing their health and their wellbeing. I am so proud of them."
Levina is a descendant of the Kunja and Wangkamurra people of South West Queensland and she works at Mulungu Medical Centre in Mareeba. She has a decade of industry experience under her belt and enrolled in the Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice (HLT40213) to upskill.
"I decided to enrol at TAFE Queensland to gain some extra knowledge and information, so that I can better help my people," Levina said.
"Health workers are out there trying to close the gap and by being knowledgeable, sharing that education, and being there to support our people, we can do that."
Levina said it's great to combine theory with hands-on lessons in clinical training rooms at the Cairns campus.
"At TAFE Queensland we have prac days and some of the practical skills we learn include blood pressures, suturing, and ear and eye examinations."
"My TAFE Queensland teachers, Christine and Natalie, are very knowledgeable and very hands-on. It’s wonderful to be able to learn from two people who really know what they are talking about when it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health."
Levina hopes others interested in Indigenous health join her in the profession.
"If there is somebody out there that would like to become an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner, I would say go for it!"
"Who better knows our community than we do," she continued.
"We’re there to help them, support them, educate them, advocate for them, so we can do all that by becoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners."
"We know what our community needs and what our people need."
*Hear how Levina is improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People