ACU Bachelor of Nursing graduate Dr Derek Chong has been named ACU’s 2019 Alumni of the Year.
Dr Chong’s award was one of six presented to outstanding graduates at a ceremony in Melbourne on Tuesday, 26 November.
Raised in Ipswich in southeast Queensland, Dr Chong is the state’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychiatrist. He has worked at the forefront of health, starting out as a residential care worker and going on to graduate with a Bachelor of Nursing from ACU in 1999, while working as a registered psychiatric nurse. He went on to study and practice medicine and psychiatry and will be conferred his fellowship in late 2019.
Dr Chong currently works as a medical officer and senior psychiatry registrar in Metro South Mental Health at the Community Mental Health Woolloongabba Psychosis Unit. As well as his regular psychiatry clinics at The Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Primary Healthcare Service, Dr Chong also mentors doctors and psychologists to improve their consulting practice when treating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. His mother’s people are the Mullenjarli of the Gold Coast hinterland, and his father’s people are the Walkamin of the Tate region in Far North Queensland, and the Kunjun people of Kowanyama. He is a proud father of eight children and seven grandchildren.
Watch Dr Chong's story below
Read about all of this year's Alumni Award winners on the ACU website.