Home' Tennant and District Times : 2015-0605 TDT Contents Vol. 39 No. 20
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July 31st- August 5th 2015
Paging Tennant Creek’s
own Dr Goddard
TENNANT Creek’s Sarah Goddard has every
reason to cheer.
She completed her final medical exams last week and
is now officially a doctor.
Unlike her mates at the University of Newcastle in
NSW, Sarah will celebrate the milestone under perfectly
clear skies on the black-soiled, tabletop grasslands at
the upcoming Brunette Downs Races.
“This will be the first time in several years that I’ll be
able to enjoy the racing action without stressing about
exams,” she said.
“So I’m going to make the most of every minute of
being back in the bush.
“It’s a huge relief to finish my degree and I feel a
great sense of accomplishment and excitement about
Everyone in the Barkly can take pride in Sarah’s
achievements as her pedigree is about as local as you
Her grandmother, the late Doris Campbell, was born
on Stirling Station to a traditional Aboriginal woman
and her mother, Denise Goddard, a police officer, was
born and raised in Tennant Creek. Although Sarah’s
father, Steve Goddard, hailed from NSW he is well-
and-truly a local now who is known and respected right
throughout the Barkly and beyond.
Sarah has wanted to be a doctor as long as she can
She was just three-years-old when her mother’s kid-
neys failed, meaning she spent a lot of time in hospitals
with Sarah snapping at her heels.
“I loved visiting my mother in hospital,” Sarah re-
“I idolised the medical teams who treated her and have
always yearned to be able to help Mum get better.”
There proved to be plenty of opportunities for Sarah
to learn first-hand from medical specialists.
Denise underwent a kidney transplant which brought
both relief and further problems such as several heart
attacks, strokes and cancer.
“She’s been through a lot,” Sarah said.
“Several major surgeries and more hospital admissions
for pneumonia than I could ever keep count of.
“Apart from having lots of first-hand experience with
a range of medical issues I learned that wellness is very
much a state of mind.
“I’ve never known anyone as determined to overcome
adversities as my Mum.
“She’s incredibly strong-minded and will not be de-
feated, no matter what is thrown at her.
“The medical profession has been absolutely amazed
by her resilience and courage.
“Without doubt she’s a medical miracle and I’ve
learned as much from her about healing as I have in all
my years of studying medicine.”
While Sarah’s first aspirations to become a doctor
were sparked by her desire to help Denise, she soon
realised how desperately her whole community was
struggling with health.
“As I saw how Indigenous people were ravaged by
alcohol, kidney disease, diabetes and other issues such
as paediatric malnutrition and infections, I was over-
whelmed with despair,” she said.
“I knew I had to try to make a difference as we
lose too many people to health problems which
have pretty much been bought under control
in the wider Australian community.”
Sarah begins her internship at the Royal
Darwin Hospital in August and once she has
experience and further training as a general
practitioner, she plans to return to work in
“I definitely want to be here in the long term,”
“The Tennant Creek Hospital in conjunction with
the NT Department of Health sponsored me during
my studies through the National Indigenous Cadet-
ship Program by providing workplace experience
during my uni breaks.
“I’ve also done clinical placements at the Royal
Flying Doctor Service and Anyinginyi so I’ve had
some great mentoring along the way.”
Sarah said she’s very grateful for the help and
support she’s been given during her years of study.
“My parents, brother, grandparents, uncles, aunts,
cousins, friends and my boyfriend Boyd have
all been incredible,” she said.
“Gail Lowe has been a tower of strength for me
along with the Roberts family I lived with during
my studies and the many lecturers and medical
professionals who helped me get through
everything, especially during the tough times.
“Now it’s my turn to give something back and
I promise the people of Tennant Creek and the
Barkly that you’re all first on my list.”
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