Meet Mangatjay McGregor

In the spirit of NAIDOC Week, we’re shining the spotlight on First Nations employees from across Monash Health to celebrate their integral contribution to our health service. 

Dr Mangatjay McGregor is a Yolngu man and a Psychiatry Registrar with the Dandenong Continuing Care team. 

“It’s really important that we make the most of times like NAIDOC,” says Mangatjay. “We’re celebrating First Nations culture, from our history, from our present, and for the future. It helps build not only understanding and preservation and propagation of culture within our own communities, but it also helps other people connect and understand us better.” 

Mangatjay started working with Monash Health in June 2021. 

“I unexpectedly landed a psychiatry resident job,” he says. “I started at Casey Hospital on the Adult Inpatient Psychiatry Unit. Essentially, we would conduct ward rounds with patients who were admitted and had mental health issues and we would enact the plans made by the consultant psychiatrist.” 

One of the most exciting aspects of the job for Mangatjay is the variety. 

“What I like about medicine is that every day looks a bit different. In psychiatry, everyone has their own unique stories and I enjoy being able to listen to those.” 

His role as a psychiatry registrar has given Mangatjay pause to reflect on his own story. 

“You start developing insight into yourself and your own history and it’s like a journey of self-discovery, not just for your patients but for yourself.” 

Mangatjay has a unique story – he is believed to be the first Yolngu person to receive a medical degree.  

“Like a lot of big achievements and situations where you’re put into the spotlight, it’s a mixture of different feelings and emotions. It’s a big achievement for myself. I wanted to do medicine since before I started school, when I was a very young child.” 

There have been many challenging aspects for Mangatjay too. 

“But it’s scary for me as well, because while I have been lucky and had some really good role models in my childhood and throughout my adult years, I haven’t had someone from back home who has been in my situation and walked that particular pair of shoes. So it’s scary, but really cool when you think about it, because it means that hopefully I’m walking a path that opens doors for other generations.” 

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people play an integral role at Monash Health. This profile is part of a series during NAIDOC Week to showcase and celebrate some of our First Nations colleagues.