New opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through GE Healthcare partnership

Professor Annemarie Henessy and GE Healthcare President Matt Tucker

Professor Annemarie Henessy from Western Sydney Univeristy and GE Healthcare CEO and President Matt Tucker

GE Healthcare (opens in a new window) has partnered with Western Sydney University to provide new scholarship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students looking to pursue a career in health.

In the first joint initiative between the two organisations, GE Healthcare is offering a scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders looking to enrol in the University's Graduate Diploma of Cardiac Sonography.

Valued at $10,000 a year over the two years of the degree, the scholarship will provide financial security for the students as they study how to use ultrasound acquired images to identify and measure heart disease.

The scholarship is part of a broader discussion between the University and GE Healthcare to collaborate across areas including medicine, engineering and business.

Dean of the University's School of Medicine,  Professor Annemarie Hennessy, says the new scholarship will provide much needed assistance for talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who may otherwise lack the means to pursue tertiary education.

"Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in Australia, and diagnosing and properly treating existing conditions will make a big difference to the health outcomes of the region, and also the nation," says Professor Hennessy.

"It is our hope these scholarship recipients will not only help combat cardiovascular disease in Australia, but also to one day become medical leaders in the community."

GE Healthcare CEO and President Matt Tucker (opens in a new window) said that GE Healthcare is delighted to be partnering with Western Sydney University, specifically on training more Cardiac Sonographers.

"Increasing the access, through financial assistance and the provision of the latest cardiac ultrasound equipment, is the first steps in our partnership designed to improve the cardiovascular health of western Sydney and Indigenous communities," he says.

"Whilst the scholarship recipient will have access to the range-topping Vivid E95 Echocardiogrpahy unit at the University's Blacktown campus, the skills are equally transferable to the devices we use in remote communities. Diseases such as Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) are preventable if diagnosed and treated. We still see higher than acceptable prevalence of RHD in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and we hope that the skills learnt here at Western Sydney University bring a positive change to this situation. Better access, at lower cost, to high quality healthcare is our goal."

Scholarship will be available in 2018. Enquiries can be directed to


19 May 2017

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer