Bendigo doctor and BSSC Alumna Skye Kinder  (Class of 2008) has been named the 2019 Victorian Young Australian of the Year.

Dr Kinder was awarded the honour at a ceremony at Government House on Tuesday night.

Dr Kinder was a strong advocate for rural health during her studies: she was the Australian Medical Students’ Association’s rural health officer, a role that saw her co-found and chair the first Rural Health Committee, and set up a national Rural Health Summit.

Now a doctor, she continues to push for better outcomes in rural and regional Australia through research, speaking engagements, press appearances, workshops and articles.

She is also a board member of the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria.

After her nomination was announced, Dr Kinder said her interest in rural health came from seeing her father having to travel to Melbourne for medical appointments while she was growing up.

“From early on I had a good appreciation of what healthcare was like for people outside the city,” she said. “It made me realise how much of a difference I could make if I was involved with policy and advocacy.”

Dr Kinder was last year named Victoria’s Junior Doctor of the Year, and in 2014 was Bendigo’s Young Citizen of the Year.

Dr Kinder is now in the running for the national Young Australian of the Year award, to be announced on January 25, 2019.