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Victoria’s Young Australian of the Year Skye Kinder has been announced the 2019 chieftain for Bendigo’s Scots Day Out on Saturday 2 March.

The Bendigo doctor, currently the Psychiatry Registrar at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, grew up just loving the pipe bands each year in the Bendigo Easter Festival parades.

“I proudly carry the Scottish heritage of our family into the current generation and our family has always enjoyed the great community celebrations in Bendigo,” Skye said whose name has Scottish origins.

“The pipe bands will be a highlight for me at Scots Day Out but I am also looking forward to encouraging another great crowd to enjoy the dancing and the folk music while sampling haggis and shortbread, particularly the shortbread!”

Skye has dedicated her medical career to improving the health of marginalised patients throughout Australia. After witnessing her father travel to Melbourne for specialist appointments, she became committed to easing the travel burden and financial impact of healthcare on rural populations.

While studying, Skye became a passionate advocate for rural health, representing the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) as Rural Health Officer. Through AMSA, she co-founded and chaired the first Rural Health Committee and set up a national Rural Health Summit, creating new opportunities for students in regional areas to participate in advocacy and policy. Now a doctor, and board member of Rural Doctors Association of Victoria, Skye continues to highlight rural health issues to local, national and international audiences, through her research, ongoing speaking engagements, press appearances, workshops, and articles.

Skye was named Victoria’s Junior Doctor of the Year in 2017 and Bendigo’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2014.

SDO event director Chris Earl said the appointment of Skye as the 2019 chieftain recognised the important contribution of younger generations to building strong communities in regional areas.

“SDO brings our community together, showcases our city to visitors from across Australia and celebrates the positive legacies of Scots and the descendants to our nation of more than 200 years.”

Scots Day Out, a free community event, was first held in 2013. Previous chieftains have been Keith Sutherland, Bruce McClure, Tim Robertson, Kathryn Mackenzie, Neil Clark and Bryan Coghlan.

This year’s SDO celebrations start with Scotland Light and Dark – the Australian premiere of highlights from 2018 Edinburgh Short Film Festival and an exclusive whisky tasting – at the Engine Room on Friday 1 March at 7.3pm.

The man celebrations on 2 March open with a parade of bands, clans and dancers down View St at 10am into Rosalind Park.

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