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Xaviour Walker

Students on the steps of the Information Services Building

Xaviour Walker
Xaviour Walker

Final year medical student Xaviour Walker doesn't have many spare minutes in his day.

National level student politics; regional and national level athletics; organising charity events; and encouraging other Pacific Island university students to succeed - all compete for time with his medical studies.

"It would be fair to say I'm kept busy," he says.

A keen sportsman, Xaviour originally wanted to specialise in sports medicine but the more he learnt, the more interested he became about all aspects of medicine.

"I initially wanted to work with athletes, but now that I've seen the bigger picture of medicine I have realise I can help people more in other areas of medicine."

Xaviour, who is from Tongan and Northern Irish descent, was recently awarded a Ministry of Health Pacific Workforce Award, and his long-term goal is to help improve the health of Pacific Island people.

"At the end of my fourth year I did work experience in Fiji and was struck by how you can make a difference in many people's lives."

This year Xaviour is the New Zealand Medical Students Association national president, and his focus is pushing for Government funding for a rural medical curriculum and trying to recruit more Maori and Pacific Islands students into medicine.

"When I was at high school a lot of people told me medicine was really hard and you'll never get in. It's easy to get put off but if you just believe you can make it - you can,' he says.